Interning with the Institute to Bring Positive Change in the U.S.

Zaihra Ahmed, a Suffolk University Law School student, has been conducting an internship at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute during the spring and summer. We recently spoke to her about her experiences and her plans for the future.

Zaihra Ahmed was born in the U.S. to parents of Bangladeshi origin, and since the age of five has regularly travelled to Bangladesh, where her family is involved in running a school in their ancestor’s village. Her early experiences with vulnerable groups helped inform her decision to study to become a lawyer, and now in the second year of her law degree at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, she has joined RWI as an intern at the head office in Lund, Sweden: just part of her plans to further expand her horizon this summer.

“The focus of my studies is in international human rights law,” says Ahmed, “And I wanted to expand my knowledge beyond the reach of U.S. laws. Therefore, I chose to seek out an opportunity in Europe, and I quickly settled on the Raoul Wallenberg Institute as my first choice.”

After being accepted as an intern, Ahmed has worked specifically with Dr. Alejandro Fuentes to research a paper on the work of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding indigenous rights to property. Dr. Fuentes is Senior Researcher at the Institute, a noted expert on minority rights and also known for his close involvement with the internship programme and the opportunities for mutual exchange and growth that it can provide.

The opportunities do not end with the research in Sweden however, as after her RWI internship is complete, Ahmed will continue on to India where she will intern at a Centre for Child Rights in New Delhi.

“I’ve always been interested in working with children and minority rights, and my long term dream and goal is to become a human rights lawyer back home in the States,” she said. “I think that the experiences I am gaining this summer will help me contribute to bring about positive change in my home country.”

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