The Human Rights Institute's year-long fact-finding practicum allows a small group of students an opportunity to work as human rights investigators—researching a human rights problem in depth, conducting extensive interviews on the subject, drafting a comprehensive report on their findings, and engaging in related advocacy.
Student participants enroll in a full-year, five credit practicum taught by expert practitioners. In the fall semester the class covers the substantive law and policy, as well as fact-finding skills and methodology. In January, during Georgetown Law's "Week One," the class travels either internationally or domestically to conduct extensive interviews with those affected by and knowledgeable about the issue. In the spring semester, students draft a comprehensive report that lays out their findings and recommendations, which is published by the Human Rights Institute. They then engage in extensive federal-level advocacy with government decision-makers to lobby for change.
The 2014-2015 fact-finding project and practicum course will be focused on the detention of migrant children in the United States. The course will be taught by Professor Michelle Brane. More information can be found here.
Students interested in being admitted to the project team and practicum course should contact Dash/Muse Fellow Ian Kysel (firstname.lastname@example.org). LLM students are encouraged to submit an application, including a statement of interest, a resume and a writing sample as soon as possible. Applications from LLM students will be considered on a rolling basis. Criteria to be considered include but are not limited to: a demonstrated commitment to human rights; experience interviewing or working with individuals affected by human rights violations; ability to work independently, in a group and to complete complicated tasks on a deadline; and language skills.
Our 2013-2014 project examined Statelessness and the Right to Education in the Dominican Republic. For more information, please see our project page.
Our 2012-2013 project examined the Human Right to Water in Marginalized Communities. For more information, please see our project page.
Our 2011-2012 project was called Kept Out: Barriers to Meaningful Education in the School-to-Prison Pipeline. More information can be found on the project's page.
Sent "Home" With Nothing: The Deportation of Jamacians with Mental Disabilities
Researchers visited Jamaica in January 2011 and conducted more than 50 interviews with deported persons, mental health professionals, civil society representatives, and government officials. The report is available here. You can also watch the webcast of the report launch, view the corresponding PowerPoint presentation, and read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the project.
A Prescription for Failure: Health and Intellectual Property in the Dominican Republic
Researchers visited the Dominican Republic in January 2010 and conducted more than 50 interviews with patients, healthcare providers, government officials, members of non-governmental organizations, representatives from multinational and domestic pharmaceutical industries, trade negotiators, lawyers, and others. The report is available here. You can also watch a webcast of the students' report launch, and read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the project.
Refugee Crisis in America: Iraqis and Their Resettlement Experience
Through this project, researchers conducted extensive interviews with refugees, policy makers, state refugee coordinators, and NGOs in Washington D.C., Detroit, San Diego, and Amman, Jordan. The report examines and assesses the United States' policies, practices, and legal framework with regard to the resettlement of Iraqi refugees. The report is available here. You can also watch a webcast of the students' report launch.
Moving forward: Recomendations on U.S. HIV Immigration Policy (Haiti)
Through this project, students traveled to Haiti to document the experiences of HIV-positive spouses, children, parents, and siblings of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) affected by the "HIV bar." The report is available here.
Between The Border and The Street: Migrant Youth on Margins. A Comparative Look at Gang Reduction Policies and Migration in the U.S. and Guatemala.
This report examines the rise of gangs in Guatemala and the United States, compares the anti-gang strategies in each country, discusses the relative successes and failures, and offers recommendations for more sensible, humane, and effective policies to reduce youth violence. The report is available here.
Unintended Consequences: Refugee Victims of the War on Terror (Ecuador)
This report examines the unintended consequences of the material support bar on Colombian refugees. The report is available here.