Where in the World are the CVHR Law Clerks?

August 5, 2017

Jacob Irven, CVHR law clerk, is currently serving as a summer intern through the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s exceptional Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL). As a PIHRL intern, Jacob is working to support respective non-profit human rights NGOs spanning three continents. His first placement was within the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights’ (HFHR) Strategic Litigation Program in Warsaw, Poland.

Here is Jacob’s account of his experience in Poland:

In my time with the HFHR thus far, I have written reports which have comparatively analyzed police body-worn camera policies, and which have assessed EU and other supranational body authority over Poland’s pain management healthcare services. I have been continually working on a research project which analyzes rulings of the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) regarding human rights defenders, confirming compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and United Nations (UN) Guidelines. I am also working on a research paper which discusses enforced disappearances as a human rights issue, and have revised several legal documents. I am very grateful CVHR Supervisory Staff Attorney, Jessica Topor, connected me with this excellent organization, and I will be proud to continue supporting and learning from them in the following weeks.

Beyond that, I have already had some incredible experiences in Warsaw. I am residing with an amazing family in an Airbnb placement within the beautiful rural district of Radość. I have had the opportunity to explore much of Warsaw’s city center, including various restaurants, Old Town, the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, and the Warsaw Uprising Museum. It has been a pleasure engaging with and learning from Polish culture. Prior to my departure, I hope to have the opportunity to visit more museums, Kraków, Auschwitz, and perhaps the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

I am scheduled to soon meet with Poland’s Deputy Human Rights Commissioner for Equal Treatment, Ms. Sylwia Spurek, to discuss her distinguished work in the fields of human rights and domestic violence law.

In my upcoming placement in Uganda, I plan to support COTFONE in their tremendous efforts to uplift troubled youth and underprivileged community members.

In my subsequent placement in Mongolia, I plan to support the LGBT Centre in their tremendous efforts to enact and implement “A Tolerant and Hate-free Mongolia”. This project seeks to assist local police officers recognize and respond to hate crimes, and to simultaneously support survivors of hate crimes.

I am very grateful for the opportunities the PIHRL has afforded me, and for all of the support my CVHR colleagues have shown me back home! I am excited to continue on my incredible journey of personal, academic, and professional growth.