by: Mahlatse Ramoroka ’19
I spent the summer of 2018 working as a research intern at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) in New York, Brooklyn. CESR seeks to promote economic, social and cultural justice through the realization of universal human rights. The organization mainly works to uphold human rights to education, health, water, food, work, housing, and other social, economic and cultural rights indispensable to human dignity.
As part of the Human Rights in Sustainable Development program, I was tasked with: (1) Collating information (especially related to VNRs), research and support for planned events/advocacy activities for the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF); (2) Participating in the HLPF and providing follow-up support in drafting a blog post assessing the 2018 HLPF; (3) Initial research on the 2030 Agenda’s pledge ‘Leave No One Behind’, providing conceptualizations grounded in human rights; (4) Research support and data collation regarding South Africa’s submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, under the Rights Claiming and Accountability Program.
Working on the South Africa project was one of the most fulfilling experiences. Mainly because I’m South African but also because the research and drafting process taught me a lot about economic measurement indicators used in human rights work.
I would highly recommend CESR to anyone interested and looking for work experience in human rights work.