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My internship at the most magnificent archive for human rights-related research

Valeria at the Peace Palace, The Hague, NL, October 2018.

Hi, I am Valeria, a HRG 2nd year student. In the first semester, I did my internship at the Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca” of the University of Padua. I applied for the internship there because I wished to improve my communication skills and also because I really wanted to do it in presence.

My academic background is in Development Economics and International Cooperation. During my bachelor studies, I spent 5 months in The Hague, so-called political capital of The Netherlands, during which I had the chance to visit the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Those 5 months in the “city of peace and justice” opened up new perspectives and encouraged me to apply for the HRG master in Padua.

Moving to the bulk of this article, the Human Rights Centre was founded in 1982 to promote interdisciplinary research, education, and training on human rights. It is an academic institution that collaborates with local, national, and international institutions, with civil society organizations (CSO), with academia and experts from the field. Together with the administrative staff and many HRG professors, there are always students doing the internship or the civil service. Its interdisciplinary nature makes the Human Rights Centre a very dynamic and vibrant workplace.

Valeria, HRC staff and HRG students at the library of the Human Rights Centre, Padua, 25 November 2021.

As an intern, my main task was to write human rights-related news for the website. The website is a very useful platform available to anyone: from politicians, to CSO, students, and private citizens looking for up-to-date information. Topics for the articles were both proposed by tutors and interns, so I took the occasion to investigate topics I am interested in. For example, I would often propose news related to climate change and sustainable development, while my coworker was more inclined to write about children’s rights. Thanks to the guidance of my tutors, I really improved my communication and academic writing skills. Furthermore, interns contribute to organizing conferences and events. In my case, I collaborated in the International Conference “Towards an inclusive governance of “EU fundamental values”, the Padova Model UPR and two events. The first aimed to present a research analysis with the national NGO Inter Campus and the second to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Human Rights Centre. Above all, taking part on these occasions from “behind the scenes” was very inspiring as I could work closer with my own professors and meet experienced speakers and guests.

From my experience, the Human Rights Centre has so much to offer to HRG students and its potential is not yet fully displayed. The website contains all sorts of articles and it is a magnificent archive that we can use for research and thesis. Plus, there is an amazing library with rare books on International Law and Human Rights. I really hope that the Human Rights Centre will become more central to HRG students and to students from other University departments and that it will be a venue to discuss the complex challenges we face today, always with an interdisciplinary lens. Written by Valeria Faraoni

Edited by Giulia Rosina Photo courtesy of Valeria Faraoni


Valeria approached European Law, Public International Law, and International Law of Human Rights during her Erasmus in The Hague. At present, she is passionate about the environment, sustainable development, and she is doing research on the right to food. She wishes to work in a setting where she can approach the challenge of climate change with human rights lens. Follow Valeria on her social media accounts: on LinkedIn @Valeria Faraoni and on Instagram @vale_faraoni.

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