Megan Schmidt on Interning at the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect

Draper student Megan Schmidt recently took an internship with the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) and has written about the experience for us.

As many students and recent graduates are finding out, internships are increasingly becoming the new entry level job. This can be frustrating for those of us who end up with an internship position that doesn’t warrant too much energy. Luckily for me, I have found an internship position that is both rewarding and is preparing me for my future employment endeavors. This position is with the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) as the Coalition’s Research Intern. I would highly recommend this position to anyone interested in human rights specifically relating to the field of mass atrocity crimes.

The Responsibility to Protect is an international norm established at the United Nations 2005 World Summit which calls on governments to protect their citizens from genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In the event that a state cannot or does not aid its people, the international community is responsible to intervene through humanitarian means and, if necessary, coercive measures if collectively authorized by the UN Security Council.

At NYU I have focused my classes on human rights and international relations, so in searching for an internship I wanted to find a placement that allowed me to continue in this area of study. I was drawn to this internship because my specific area of interest and research is in human rights and genocide studies, making ICRtoP an ideal place to learn about issues and developments in these fields. I began interning with ICRtoP in September 2010. Working with the project requires focus and dedication as the position and the subject matter are substantial and intense. My work for the organization has included theoretical research on RtoP as well as focus on ongoing conflicts and crises.

What is also great about working with ICRtoP is that I have the opportunity to attend events and meetings (Security Council, General Assembly, etc.) at the UN. This requirement of the position is most exciting as I get to witness firsthand the actions and developments happening in this international forum.

ICRtoP is a project of the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy, which has several other projects relating to the field of human rights and the UN such as Together for a Better Peace, Reform the UN, and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. I recommend that anyone interested in these areas visit the Institute’s website as internship positions are often available.

For more information on ICRtoP please visit the Coalition’s website at: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org

-Megan Schmidt

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