Lawyer specialized in national and international human rights, criminal and immigration law, Blanmailland & Partners, Bar of Brussels
Why did you apply to E.MA?
Through various extracurricular activities and my volunteer work abroad as well as in my home country, I decided to dedicate my professional life to enhancing protection capacity and finding ways of minimizing the human costs of people’s rights violations. Attracted by the possibility to be taught by Human Rights experts and leading academics, while studying in a multicultural environment, I decided after my Law studies in Belgium to pursue the European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) programme. My E.MA year definitely was a hinge moment in my life.
How did E.MA help in your career?
On the professional level, it give me a solid theoretical Human Rights background, enabled me to approach Human Rights issues from different practical angles and prepared me to respond to operational requirements of daily work in international organizations, non-governmental bodies and academia. My Master thesis gave me the opportunity to work in Geneva as a protection officer at the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and as an NGO liaison officer at the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. This acted as a springboard to my experience in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). At the Reporting and Investigation Unit of MONUSCO’s Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), I monitored and investigated gross human rights violations and transferred data to UN DPKO headquarters and other relevant stakeholders. Currently, I work as a lawyer in Brussels, where I am also a member of the Salduz legal assistance team, which was established by progressive Belgian lawyers following the Salduz judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in order to guarantee fair trial rights and to provide legal assistance as soon as people are deprived of their liberty.
What are the benefits of E.MA?
The E.MA programme also had a snatching effect on my personal development. Studying and living with people from other backgrounds and cultures, sharing each other’s points of view and implementing valuable lessons in life undoubtedly leads to positive change. Finally, E.MA offers a life lasting network of solidarity. Not only during the programme I built strong friendships and established valuable contacts, but also after my E.MA year I met and worked with fellow masterini, including from other years, which was each time an enriching and constructive experience.