Students Receive 12-Week Internship Scholarships with USP-HRMI

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Press Release The USP Samoa Campus in collaboration with the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) have signed a 12-week internship-scholarship programme to connect the next generation of Pacific human rights advocates and change-makers with global human rights networks through a paid internship scholarship programme.

This project is based on the premise that conversations about human rights in the Pacific need to be led by diverse Pacific voices.

Students are provided with an opportunity to gain experience in international human rights processes such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

International human rights initiatives often struggle to ‘land’ in the Pacific. Global human rights language and concepts have not always been attuned to the specific cultural, social, and historical context of the Pacific.

The University of the South Pacific have partnered with the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) to support the development of Pacific leaders and change makers.

The internship scholarship programme is about equipping young leaders with a strong understanding of human rights data, provide an introduction to global human rights networks, and an opportunity to build writing and advocacy skills. 

The proposed project is a 12-week paid internship scholarship programme for 9 Pacific youth with the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, a global human rights NGO producing data for human rights advocacy.

The internship will be undertaken remotely, with interns based at USP Samoa Campus and communicating with HRMI via Zoom, Slack, and email.

The Pacific interns will be part of a global cohort of about 30 young people from all around the world, and will have the opportunity to build global networks and working relationships with them, as they collaborate to support civil society organisations around the world to build data skills and create better UPR submissions.

As a remote internship, this is an excellent opportunity for young Pacific people to build global experience and networks in a world where Covid-19 has shut down many of the usual avenues for global connection.

Providing valuable opportunities for students is a core part of USP’s mission. Fostering an environment in which Pacific students can share the cultural perspectives of their community and enmeshing this worldview in the development of human rights data is central to HRMI’s work in the Pacific.

The short-term outcomes of this internship would be the valuable experience, skills, and exposure to international human rights processes gained by Pacific students in an environment where they can leverage some of the institutional knowledge, social capital and networks that HRMI has in human rights outside the Pacific region. 

In the long term, through this internship USP and HRMI will be supporting the growth of a Pacific-led human rights conversation which is attuned to the needs, issues, and context of different Pacific countries and at the same time based in strong data skills and well-connected to global human rights networks and institutions. This will foster continued support for human rights in the Pacific, in ways which uphold the mana of Pacific peoples.

Selection Criteria

Interns were selected based on a demonstrated interest in learning about human rights advocacy and data production in the Pacific. The successful interns will receive $2000 each to assist with their fees and day to day student expenses.

Congratulations to:

1 Faye Sinei Fili 

2 Jennifer Saloga Apelu Alisi 

3 Siniva Leleimalefaga 

7 Otto Rheeney 

5 Peggy Tuala 

6 Tasman Siamomua 

7 Lino Leon Williams 

8 Fuatino Taina 

9 Sara Toleafoa

This is the very first cohort of HRMI Interns in the Pacific and the aim is to roll out this opportunity to benefit young Pacific leaders across all USP Member countries.