2002 Human Rights Fellows

The Human Rights Center has sponsored more than 100 graduate and professional students to work with nongovernmental organizations and human rights agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


Yishai Boyarin is a first year student at Boalt Hall School of Law. Yishai will be working with the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI). He will be working with Israeli human rights lawyers and advocates to expose incidents of torture and human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israeli military. He will research and prepare petitions to the Israeli High Court to demonstrate that detention of Palestinian activists/suspects without a hearing, lack of access to legal representation, convictions resulting from lack of due process and torture of Palestinian detainees violate Israeli law.

Joe Bryan is a PhD candidate in the Geography department. In response to an important decision issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights focused on indigenous land rights in Nicaragua, Joe will work with the Indian Law Resource Center. Joe will assist the Mayagna community of Awas Tingni by providing technical and logistical support needed to carry out a mapping project intended to demarcate and legally guarantee their land rights and to allow them to develop a comprehensive framework for renegotiating their relationship to the Nicaraguan state. Read Joe's final report.

Andrew Fuys is a first year student receiving a Master's Degree in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Andrew plans to work with Yayasan Tanah Merdeka (The Free Land Institute), a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Indonesia, to analyze public policy alternatives related to the involuntary resettlement of communities resulting from mass mining operations. He also plans to identify models that would create more effective opportunities for citizen-based groups to advocate for policy changes that could better protect the rights of communities facing resettlement. Read Andrew's final report.

Shilpi Gupta is a first year student at the Graduate School of Journalism. Shilipi will travel to Kashmir, a region which has suffered prolonged ethnic strife since the partitioning of Pakistan and India in 1947. While working with the Fund for Peace, Shilipi plans to develop a video project that will document the status of women and orphaned children in Kashmir as an indicator of the link between the flow of arms and conflict-induced human rights violations. She plans to elicit a variety of interviews with local activists, women's organizations, humanitarian and human rights NGOs, survivors of violence and with workers at orphanages and hospitals.

Elina Katz is receiving a Master's Degree in International and Area Studies. Last year, she received a Master's Degree at the Graduate School of Journalism. Elina is the first recipient of the newly offered Human Rights and Photography fellowship that provides a student fellow the opportunity to work with internationally-acclaimed photographer Gilles Peress in his New York studio. Elina has received photojournalism awards for her work in Addis Ababa and along the U.S.- Mexico border.

Felicia Lester is a student in the U.C. Berkeley/U.C. San Francisco Joint Medical Program and School of Public Health. This summer, Felicia will work with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) in Cambodia conducting a community-based study to address the issue of unsafe abortion as part of a larger effort to the improve the reproductive health of Cambodian women. Felicia plans to determine abortion rates, methods used to induce abortion, characteristics of women seeking abortion, reasons for seeking abortion, medical complications that arise as a result of induced abortion and the treatment of those complications. Her interest in this area of research grows out her previous work with the UNPF on a community-based distribution of contraceptives project.

Raquel Moreno-Peñaranda is a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group. Raquel will work with the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST or the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement). Since its founding in 1985, the MST has successfully helped over 250,000 families expropriate idle or unproductive land in an effort to gain title. Raquel plans to work with MST to explore the environmental component of its struggle for land; specifically, how MST's environmental position has evolved over time, the environmental goals established by MST and the specific action undertaken so far with respect to care for the environment. She will also study the conflicts between landless people and indigenous communities arising from shared property lines and the role of both federal and state policy as well as international funding institutions such as the World Bank.

Krisjon Rae Olson is a PhD student in Anthropology. Krisjon is the recipient of the newly offered Human Rights and Justice in Rwanda fellowship. Through this fellowship, Krisjon will spend the summer working with the Center for Conflict Management (CCM) at the National University of Rwanda. She will be working in two main project areas. The first will be to conduct a literature review on restorative justice models with reference to structure, procedure, community involvement, goals, performance and results. On the second project, Krisjon will assist CCM in conducting a series of surveys with different sectors of civil society (women's organizations, churches, teachers, philanthropies) to explore their perceptions of the administration of justice at the local, national and international levels.

Brinda Sarathy is a PhD student in Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Brinda will be working with the Forest Community Research and the Pacific West Community Forestry Center in Northern California on their Workforce Community Assessment. The goal of this project is to identify salient information regarding the migratory Latino/a workforce, largely Mexican immigrants, who are responsible for virtually all of the manual labor required to maintain and conserve our national forests. By living and working within this community, she will gather basic demographic information and help identify the human rights concerns of this little known community, ranging from a variety of labor abuses to the impact of a gendered division of labor and community. She hopes that her research will shed light on how community ties to natural resources and the significance of a migratory workforce affect the ways in which people conceive of and manage their environments. Read Brinda's final report.

Shannon Scott is a first-year student at Boalt Hall School of Law. Shannon will be working this summer with Legal Aid of Cambodia's (LAC's) Juvenile Unit to implement the fundamental human rights enshrined in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular, Shannon will be helping to develop a children's rights monitoring process that will include interviews with children in custody, investigations of complaints and meetings with law enforcement officials. These findings will be used in the design of a larger-scale ombudsman program to serve the needs of juveniles in the Cambodian legal system. Shannon may also work with LAC's Land Law Unit which provides legal services to victims of land-grabbing, typically by the military or by multi-national corporations. She will assist the Land Unit in developing its title registration project and in refining its legal representation in land dispute cases.

Tony Shen is receiving a Master's Degree in Business Administration at the Haas School of Business. Tony will be working with the Arcata Economic Development Corp. (AEDC) in rural Northern California which promotes business growth and development, particularly small businesses, in conjunction with sound environmental planning. AEDC programs include development of California's hardwoods industry by local residents, operating an incubator for small, food-based manufacturers, and managing a micro-enterprise lending program to assist low-income entrepreneurs in launching businesses. Tony will be working with AEDC to create a best practices report for industry development and researching best practices for delivering services to businesses in rural and isolated communities. Read Tony's final report.