ISHR Interns and Fellows

Meet the talented, passionate people who are gaining experience at ISHR - and who bring a whole fresh look into our activities!

Our internships and fellowships provide hands-on experience working for an international non-governmental organisation as well as the opportunity to contribute to our work supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, building and leading human rights coalitions, and responding to significant and systemic human rights concerns. 

Our interns and fellows make up a diverse team of incredibly talented and passionate people: meet them below!

Ayla Danes

(she/her)

Communications Intern

Ayla (she/her) joined ISHR as a communications intern assisting in digital communications.

Ayla Danes

(she/her)

Communications Intern

Ayla joined ISHR as a communications intern assisting in digital communications. She is currently spending the semester abroad in Switzerland while completing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kent State University (United States). Ayla has previous experience as a web support specialist at Kent State University.

Emily Forbes

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Emily (she/her) joined ISHR as a programme intern, assisting on matters relating to business and human rights and advocacy to the Human Rights Council.

Emily Forbes

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Emily joined ISHR as a programme intern, assisting on matters relating to business and human rights and advocacy to the Human Rights Council. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice from the University of York.

Maëlle Lécureuil

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Maëlle (she/her) joned ISHR as a Programme intern assisting in the provision of training and advocacy support to human rights defenders.

Maëlle Lécureuil

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Maëlle joned ISHR as a Programme intern assisting in the provision of training and advocacy support to human rights defenders. She has previous experience as a Communication and Advocacy intern at Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil International. Maëlle holds a Master’s degree in Public International Law from Leiden University and is currently enrolled in an Interdisciplinary Master in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. She has developed a strong interest for human rights and UN mechanisms, with her Master’s thesis focusing on the ‘Universal Periodic Review and the role of NGOs in the development and formation of customary international law’.

Jae Kyung Lee (JK)

(he/him)

Communications Intern

Jae Kyung LEE (he/him) joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to support the Communications team.

Jae Kyung Lee (JK)

(he/him)

Communications Intern

Jae Kyung LEE joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to support the Communications team. He has previous experience working as an Event and Senior Member Services Coordinator for World Archery Federation in Lausanne.

Kiara Mckay

(she/her)

Communications Intern

Kiara (she/her) joined ISHR to support the Communications team.

Kiara Mckay

(she/her)

Communications Intern

Kiara joined ISHR to support the Communications team. She has previous experience in both digital marketing and the editorial sector in Geneva, Colombia and France. Kiara holds a Master’s Degree in Print and Digital Publishing from the university of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès (France), and wants to develop her skills in an international and humanitarian environment, to bring equity and help to all.

Sabrina Benavides Rodriguez

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Sabrina (she/her) joined ISHR as a programme intern.

Sabrina Benavides Rodriguez

(she/her)

Programme Intern

Sabrina joined ISHR as a programme intern. She has previous human rights experience interning in the Mission of Costa Rica to the UN under human rights experts, as well as volunteering for an NGO focused on children’s rights. Sabrina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and is currently completing a master’s degree in Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development at the University of Geneva, in which she wishes to link ISHR materials and her studies, as she firmly believes that sustainable development and human rights are intrinsically linked.

Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Mainga Simoonga

Mainga Simoonga

(he/him)

Fellow

Mainga (he/him) is a DLA Piper Fellow, assisting with legal work, monitoring and advocacy at the UN and African Commission.
Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Mainga Simoonga

Mainga Simoonga

(he/him)

Fellow

Mainga is a DLA Piper Fellow, assisting with legal work, monitoring and advocacy at the UN and African Commission. He also contributes to ISHR’s work on human rights defenders and business and human rights. Previously, Mainga did diverse legal work including research on Zambian electoral disputes with Michigan State University, general research with the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research. He also worked as a Global Legal Intern at Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany and Austria, Legal Intern at Musa Dudhia & Co. and helped establish a national law students journal. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Zambia.

Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Sarah Sobczak

Sarah Sobczak

(she/her)

Fundraising and Grants Officer

Sarah (she/her) joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to support the fundraising and finance teams.
Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Sarah Sobczak

Sarah Sobczak

(she/her)

Fundraising and Grants Officer

Sarah joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to support the fundraising and finance teams. With 10 years’ experience in fundraising for international non-governmental organisations, Sarah has raised funds for diverse projects including: HIV and AIDS programmes, children’s centres in Kosovo, international emergencies, and women’s empowerment projects in South Africa. She holds a master’s degree in Poverty Reduction and Development Management from the University of Birmingham.

Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Javier Urizar

Javier Urizar

(he/him)

Fellow

Javier (he/him) is a beneficiary of the DLA Piper Global Scholarships Programme who is currently on the final year of his Bachelors' degree in Law at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala.
Profile Photo of ISHR fellow Javier Urizar

Javier Urizar

(he/him)

Fellow

Javier is a beneficiary of the DLA Piper Global Scholarships Programme who is currently on the final year of his Bachelors’ degree in Law at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. He has served as a human rights researcher, as an analyst for the Judicial Observatory of the Criminal Justice System in Guatemala, and as a paralegal at the International Justice Mission. Javier will be assisting ISHR’s Director of Development and Treaty body advocacy by contributing to the work at the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies.

Dongni Zao

Dongni Zhao

(she/her)

Asia Programme assistant

Dongni ZHAO (she/her) joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to work with the CAP team as Asia Programme Assistant.
Dongni Zao

Dongni Zhao

(she/her)

Asia Programme assistant

Dongni ZHAO (she/her) joined ISHR in 2021 through the Swiss employment programme Syni to work with the CAP team as Asia Programme Assistant. Dongni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Shanghai University and a Master’s degree in Science of Information and Communication from the University Lumière Lyon 2. She comes with 15 years of experience in journalism and 9 years of experience in International procurement.

Work with us

Our human rights internships mix exciting projects! As an intern, your talent will be recognised and you will fully participate in the life of our NGO. Since 2021, ISHR is committed to offering paid internships and fellowships only. Our interns and fellows receive some stipend from a third party or directly from ISHR. Working with us is a great opportunity for a first human rights internship or a human rights summer internship. 

Find out more about open positions for internships.