Human Rights Attorney at Home and Internationally

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Some attorneys have spent their life working for human rights which is not always a front page title. None the less, attorneys fight battles for policy change in the US and worldwide. The attorneys also address crimes against humanity, refugee protection, torture, women's rights and gay and lesbian rights. There is a well known non-profit organization in Washington DC and New York that facilitates the work for change of human rights in conjunction with attorneys and the United Nations. Human Rights First employs attorneys, paralegals and a cluster of other support staff who work for human rights.

Human Rights Attorney at Home and Internationally

Human Rights Attorneys have a broad selection of issues to defend. A Degree in law can be expanded to a Masters in Human Rights. Human Rights Law is often practiced internationally. The United Nations determines much of the International laws for Human Rights and countries send their representatives to assist in international law-making. Many human rights lawyers have represented their countries at the United Nations.

''Andrew Hudson is from Melbourne, Australia and began his work in human rights as an attorney to the indigents and refugees. He served as a delegate for Australia to the United Nations. Hudson also worked as a Special Reporter on Extrajudicial Executions for the United Nations.''1 He currently serves on staff with Human Rights First in New York. He is the Senior Associate of the Human Rights Defenders Program.

Another attorney for human rights has worn many different hats as a human rights lawyer and hails from India. She believes human rights lawyering is dynamic and can be done in so many different ways. Sharanjeet Parmar has organized training in Liberia for child protection workers. She organized community-based lobbyists to petition the Indian government to change views on sexuality concerning Aids and HIV. Her belief was ''that if you protect human rights, you protect human health.''2 Parmar is now the Clinical Advocacy Fellow with the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

The organization previous mentioned, Human Rights First, employs human rights lawyers to assist them in their campaigns. Not only do they employ lawyers, also they employee other legal support give opportunity for future hopefuls to get in some good experience with human rights. They are located in New York and Washington DC and their mission statement is:

''Building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.''3

Human Rights law practiced nationally and internationally is expected to maintain an average growth and be very competitive with all the graduates coming out of law school. Lawyers from a good school with high marks will get the best jobs. In addition to a law degree, lawyers will do better with specializations like human rights that are a specific field of study in law. Candidates of human rights law will find schools that cater to their interests in human rights. The salaries for Human Rights lawyers begin around $45,000 in non-government and non-profit organizations and range up to 200K for government lawyers defending human rights.

Human rights will continue to be a developing need as the world continues policy making to govern rights in many countries through the United Nations. Human rights work could require travel depending on the type of work lawyers find themselves accepting, especially international lawyers. The salary seems to run in line with the travel requirements. A good human rights attorney can change the world.


1 Human Rights First, 2009. www.humanrightsfirst.org.
2 Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School, March 11, 2008. © 2006 The President and Fellows of Harvard College.
3 Human Rights First, 2009. www.humanrightsfirst.org.

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