From theory to human rights in practice

Oyibokure Olufunmilola Lovelyn. Foto
GENEVA: Student at MSc in Human rights and Multiculturalism, Oyibokure Olufunmilola Lovelyn, exploring and immersing herself in the field of Human Rights. "Walking through the magnificent Palais des Nations and hearing the legendary stories associated with the great place was truly remarkable." (Photo: Gabriela Mezzanotti)

Student at the Master’s program in Human Rights and Multiculturalism, Oyibokure Olufunmilola Lovelyn, shares her perceptions about internship and hands-on learning experience in Geneva.

Text by: Oyibokure Olufunmilola Lovelyn, MHRMC student, 2023

During our second year, we have the possibility of participating in an internship program in the field of human rights and multiculturalism. I was eager to take the opportunity and see how theories and human rights standards would come up in the real world. When I had to decide on the electives during my second year, I opted for the internship program and was fortunate to secure a position with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Oslo (NRC). The internship involved supporting humanitarian services in two programs: Safe and Inclusive Programming, and Quality, Learning, and Accountability.

Oyibokure Olufunmilola Lovelyn My internship greatly enhanced the practical application of my theoretical learning experience in Human Rights and Multiculturalism. The opportunity to learn about the drafting and application of humanitarian policies and frameworks, along with the exposure to working in a globally respected humanitarian organization with professional experts, added immense value to my Master's journey experience. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in this internship alongside my theoretical coursework.

Another unforgettable experience was USN’s academic mission to Geneva. This was an unique opportunity to embark on an educational and captivating hands-on study initiative. USN offered the academic mission to Geneva as an initiative to bring active learning opportunities to students, as well as to raise awareness about human rights advocacy, career opportunities in the UN system and the relevant work developed by NGO’s and International Governmental Organizations based in the city. We received lectures about International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, its mechanisms and institutions, while visiting the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office at Geneva, the World Trade Organization, the World Labour Organization, UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, the Norwegian Permanent Mission in Geneva, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. The mission is coordinated by Associate Professor Gabriela Mezzanotti, who also coordinates the internship at the MHRMC.

It was a truly unique experience to visit Geneva, explore its spaces, and immerse myself in the field of Human Rights. Walking through the magnificent Palais des Nations and hearing the legendary stories associated with the great place was truly remarkable. Listening to experiences of dedicated international civil servants about our field of study provided a profound sense of connection to my studies in Human rights and Multiculturalism and the struggles we face in the pursuit of social justice. The academic mission to Geneva created a profound sense of connection to the origins and the practice of Human Rights and served as a poignant reminder of the importance of ongoing efforts to uphold and promote these fundamental principles worldwide. Overall, this was an unforgettable journey that deepened my understanding and appreciation of Human Rights on a global scale. This experience enhanced my studies in the Master's program in Human Rights and Multiculturalism at the University of South-Eastern, Drammen, Norway.