Studying Human Rights

Posted on 1 September 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Human Rights, Opportunities, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , |

No, this opportunity is not specifically targeted at candidates with disabilities. And the program is not specifically focused on human rights for disabled people. But there’s no reason I’m aware of why a disabled activist or lawyer (or a deaf person) in a developing country couldn’t apply.

If you are a grassroots activist for human rights involved with a local NGO … or if you are a lawyer with an interest in human rights … then read on. This just might be a way for you to gain more skills and knowledge that could help you promote human rights for people with disabilities in your country.

I’m also interested in seeing comments from anyone who is familiar with Central European University. Would you recommend the university to someone with an interest in human rights for disabled people? Would you recommend the university to students with disabilities?

I learned about this opportunity through an email from Mobility International USA (MIUSA), though they are not themselves involved with the Central European University.

Announcement follows below:

Central European University
Department of Legal Studies
CEU Budapest, Hungary

Call for Applications:
Justice Initiative Fellows Program at Central European University
2008 -2010 Session

The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the
Open Society Institute (OSI), joins with Central European University
(CEU) to announce the Justice Initiative Fellows Program for
2008-2010. The aim of the program is to support and further develop a
network of lawyers and activists working internationally on human
rights-related issues. Since its inception in 1996, 155 fellows have
graduated from the Justice Initiative’s Fellowship program.

The Justice Initiative Fellows Program is a two-year program of
study and practical work experience. Up to ten applicants will be
selected to participate in the 2008 program. Applicants from the
following regions and countries are eligible: Central and Eastern
Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia,
the Middle East, and Central/South America.

Applicants must be nominated by a non-governmental organization
concerned with human rights. The first year is spent at Central
European University, the second in the applicant’s home country,
working with the nominating NGO.

The applicant must demonstrate a strong commitment to human rights,
and have a university degree and a high degree of proficiency in
English. Criteria for selection will include the applicant’s
experience, his/her potential to contribute to the protection and
promotion of human rights, and the suitability of the applicant’s
proposed role in the nominating NGO. Upon selection, Fellows will be
required to sign an agreement with the Justice Initiative committing
themselves to the program for two years.

The Justice Initiative Fellows will reside for one year in Hungary,
at the CEU Legal Studies Department. They will undertake a degree
program (M.A. or LL.M. in Human Rights, depending on their
undergraduate degree), in which they must fulfill the requirements of
the Human Rights Program at Central European University. During their
stay at CEU, the Fellows will also be placed in a three-month
internship with leading NGOs in Europe from January until March.
During the first year of the program the Justice Initiative
Fellowship will be administered by CEU Legal Studies Department in
partnership with the Justice Initiative. The financial conditions
will be identical to CEU policies for full scholarship students.

The Justice Initiative Fellows will return to their nominating NGOs
after the first year, where they will spend at least one year working
in human rights advocacy on a non-profit basis: providing legal
services, undertaking human rights litigation, providing training and
education, etc. The Justice Initiative will pay a local salary during
this second year equal to an amount determined to be similar to
equivalent work by the nominating NGO. This amount will be provided
to the nominating NGOs in the form of a grant.

Application Procedure
Please note that the applicant must mail his/her application to the
CEU Admissions Office (1051 Budapest, Nador u.9, Hungary). The
applicant must meet the general CEU Admissions requirements, which
can be viewed online
as well as the CEU Legal Studies Department requirements

In addition, applicants must include with their application:

1. A nominating letter from an NGO describing the reasons for
nominating the applicant, the expectations the NGO has of the
project, and contractually committing (to the Justice Initiative) to
hire the applicant for at least one year after s/he returns from the
twelve-month training program in Hungary. The nomination letter
should also indicate a monthly salary gross rate in USD (including
all taxes and fees) that will be offered to the applicant by the NGO
in the event that s/he is selected for the program (provided to the
NGO by the Justice Initiative in the form of a grant).

2. A copy of the applicant’s Bar Association membership (if
applicable), or the date scheduled for examination.

3. Proof of English proficiency: Candidates living outside of the
testing region are required to submit official score reports (See CEU
recognized Language exams and score required
For applicants from the
former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, language tests as
well as Legal Reasoning Test and Department essays will be carried out
by local Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute coordinators on March
1, 2008. For candidates outside this region the Admission exam will be
carried out via e mail on March 1st followed by interviews
administered at a later date.

4. A statement of purpose for applying to the Justice Initiative
Fellows program.

5. A proposal of project activities that the candidate plans to work
on with the nominating NGO during the second year of the fellowship.

The DEADLINE for receiving applications at CEU is January 15, 2008.

If you have questions regarding the first year of the program, please

Minna Johanna Vainio
Special Programs Coordinator, Legal Studies Department, Central
European University, Nádor u. 9, Budapest 1051, Tel: 361 327 3205,
E-mail: Vainiom* (Use the @ “at” sign in place of the * asterisk)


For more information about the overall program and the second year
commitment, please contact:

Anna Fischer
Fellows Program Coordinator at Justice Initiative, Oktober 6. u. 12,
Budapest 1051, Tel: 361 327 3108; fax: 361 327 3103;
E-mail: afischer* (Use the @ “at” sign in place of the * asterisk)

For more information about this program please visit and

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