Mariam Mansaray | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Mariam Mansaray

Class of 2018

Mariam Mansaray

Why were you excited to receive the Human Rights Fellowship?

I received the Human Rights Fellowship and because of that the internship coordinators felt that I would get direct involvement with human rights issues working with the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

What is does the DPA consist of and where did you work?

The DPA has two divisions: Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Elections; and Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.  The African Governance Architecture (AGA), is the overall political and institutional framework that the DPA operates under.  I worked with the Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Elections Division under the supervision of Ambassador Hammad, a lawyer and Human Rights expert.

What kind of work did you do while with the DPA?

I worked on three major projects:

1. The African Union draft policy framework on business & human rights (AUBHR), influenced by the United Nations Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights, analyzing the Corporate Social Responsibility and the responsibility of AU member states to Human Rights

2. Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Darfur, Sudan with other Human Rights Institutions such as UNAMID, (the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur) and CSVR (the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation based in South Africa). 

3. The logistical and creative planning process of five regional consultations being conducted consecutively in North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa in August, September, and October, and a High Level Dialogue convened by the AGA and the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Cluster under the auspices of the AGA Youth Engagement Strategy (AGA-YES). This year's theme is Enhancing Young People’s Meaningful Participation in Electoral Processes in Africa.

I have been invited by the DPA to return to Africa and participate in the High-Level Dialogue in Windhoek, Namibia on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of October 2017 where the inauguration of the Youth Electoral Participation Programme will take place.

Mariam