7 August 2020, London-UK
Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) has undertaken a new, expansive internship programme to promote democracy, sustainable development, and human rights in Bahrain and the Gulf. Their intention is to foster political change in the Gulf by interacting with the United Kingdom, European Union, United States and United Nations on pressing matters in the region. Their first step has been establishing internships that focus on advocacy in UK Parliament, where interns will liaise with MPs and Lords. The programme has recruited university students and graduates in the UK, EU, and USA with an interest in the political and social sciences, economics and human rights to research violations and anti-democratic practices in Bahrain and Gulf. It is also training them in international law, along with UN treaty bodies and UK democratic procedures.
The programme’s specific aim is to train a new generation of advocates who will use their academic skills and passion for human rights to pressure democratic governments, such as the United Kingdom, to promote a foreign policy that uniformly condemns human rights abuses in the Gulf and seeks to ameliorate them. The internship programme has thus far covered important topics related to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and has been addressing them from multiple angles. This includes the use of UN Sustainable Development Goals and sport-washing to obscure human rights abuses in Bahrain, the issue statelessness and discrimination against the Bidoon in Kuwait and the important aspects of diplomatic relations between Gulf nations, the UK, EU and USA.
A diverse group of talent has been attracted to the programme. Amy Whittle, studying History and Politics at the University of Lancaster, explained, “I was keen to widen my knowledge of human rights abuses in the Gulf and play a part in advocacy.” She added that thanks to Salam, “I have been given the tools to network with those involved with the advocacy of human rights and be involved in campaigns that encourage change to current political climates. This has been fascinating for me and will be a fantastic help for my future career aspirations”. Callum Roberson, who is currently an Advocacy Officer at SALAM DHR and studying Law at the University of Essex, explained that he joined the internship scheme because, “I wanted to get experience with foreign policy.” On his training, he claimed, “SALAM DHR allows you to develop your interests and skill set, increasing your employability”.
SALAM DHR has recruited 13 interns from ten countries this summer and it hopes to continue expanding its scope and expertise into 2021, with a talented and highly diverse team of people passionate about law, foreign policy and forwarding the cause of democracy and human rights within Parliament and other democratic bodies.
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