Campus & Community

Committee on Human Rights announces fellows

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The Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies has announced the recipients of the 2005-06 Third Millennium Fellowships. The program, launched by the Third Millennium Foundation in 2004, enables students from the University to bring human rights theory and practice together, to make a valuable contribution to human rights, to gain firsthand experience abroad in the field, and to interact with a network of individuals sharing their commitment to human rights work.

The fellows, and their host organizations, are as follows:

Deema Arafah (B.A., history of science, Harvard College) will spend a year working with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on projects related to Palestinian access to health care in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the context of ongoing military occupation and severe restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement.

Maren Dobberthien (M.A., public administration, Kennedy School of Government) will work for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, investigating and documenting allegations of extrajudicial executions. She will assist Haitian lawyers who represent people who have been imprisoned without formal charges, and will also work on inhuman prison conditions and on rape cases that occur in the current climate of insecurity. Dobberthien holds a law degree from the University of Trier, School of Law, in Germany.

Kimberly Fox (M.A. in education, policy and management, Harvard Graduate School of Education [GSE]) will spend a year working for the Ministries of Education and Health in Mexico City on a pilot program called Sigamos en el Hospital. The program provides primary and secondary educational services for chronically ill children and literacy courses for the patients’ parents. Fox will work to evaluate and expand the program, and will conduct research on the population of children served. She hopes to use her work to refine Mexican law to better consider the needs of this specific group. She received her B.A. in history and Spanish from Tufts University in 2002.

Rochelle Johnston (Ed.M. in risk and prevention, GSE) will be working with UNICEF’s Regional Child Protection Unit in Nairobi, Kenya, to support advocacy by and on behalf of children affected by violence in Eastern and Southern Africa within the context of the UN Global Study on Violence against Children. Prior to studying at Harvard, she worked with Canadian nongovernmental organizations and governments to promote children’s rights. Johnston received her B.A. in women’s studies with a concentration in cultural studies from Smith College.

Richard Powell (B.A., environmental science and public policy, Harvard College) will spend a year with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Canada under the supervision of their attorneys and two U.S. environmental law firms. Powell will participate in the research for and drafting of a petition to the Organization of American States calling for a declaration that the effects of anthropogenic climate change have violated the Inuit’s cultural and environmental human rights.

Sameer Saran (LL.M., Harvard Law School) will spend a year with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, exploring the conditions in Kenya’s prisons, which are known to fall far below international human rights standards. Saran will undertake visits to places of detention, and will compile reports on recent governmental reforms within both the prison system and the policing agencies. He will also participate in the training of senior-level public officials and law enforcement officials in human rights norms, and will complete campaign and preparatory work for a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. In 2003, Saran received his LL.B. from the National Law School of India in Bangalore.