Human Rights Watch came to AUP

October 1, 2015

On October 1st, 2015, the Paris Bureau of Human Rights Watch – represented by Valérie Lombard, Director of Outreach and Advancement, and Kriti Sharma’ 09, Researcher – joined us for an evening of discussion about HRW’s work and missions and careers in the nonprofit sector.

The event, organized by the Academic, Career, Internship and Leadership Center and hosted by Professor Susan Perry, gathered over 50 students.

Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit nongovernmental independent organization known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.

Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in some 90 countries, generating extensive coverage in local and international media with the intention of meeting governments and high-level decision-makers to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world.

The event was also the opportunity for AUP students to learn more about careers in the nonprofit sector, in particular in communications and fundraising and in the field of research.

Kriti, who works in the Disability Rights Division of HRW, talked extensively about her current research project in Indonesia. She insisted on the importance of having a strategy as a student, and on how important it is for students to get practical experience as early and as often as possible.

Valérie, who comes from a background in communications and marketing, also shared a few tips with AUP students such as networking, seizing opportunities as they come, making decisions according to one’s values and not being afraid to start afresh.

Human Rights WatchValérie Lombard and Kriti Sharma during the talk / Professor Susan Perry & Kriti

Anna, an International Comparative Politics major who attended the event told us:

“I found the Human Rights Watch event particularly interesting because it was a chance for us students to gain insight into what it is really like to work at a nonprofit organization from two people who hold entirely different positions. I was fascinated and inspired by the passion and dedication that both Ms. Lombard and alumna Ms. Sharma displayed for their work.  It was extremely helpful listening to both of them speak about how they came to work at Human Rights Watch. Ms. Sharma expressed the importance of obtaining internships in the field that you’re interested in order to cultivate your knowledge and gain an understanding of the reality of the field; while Ms. Lombard showed us that it’s never too late to change your career path. It was also incredibly encouraging and enjoyable listening to an AUP alumna and hearing how much she has accomplished in just a few years. It is events such as these that make me feel extremely lucky to attend AUP and hear from alumni and individuals from all over the world doing such important work.”