Creating a Well-Rounded Human Rights Experience

Strengthening the Skills of Future Human Rights Defenders Through Research Opportunities

The Human Rights Program is committed to offering opportunities for students to practice the skills they have developed in the classroom in professional work outside of the classroom. Successful human rights change is a product of both academic experiences and engagement in the field. Through our many classes, internship offerings, and research opportunities, the Human Rights Program has strengthened the skills of future human rights defenders as they progress through higher education. 

We are excited to introduce you to Manushri Ivaturi (Class of ‘25), who has been assisting HRP Director, Dr. Carrie Walling, this Spring!

Manushri Ivaturi (Class of ‘25)

Manushri Ivaturi (CLA '25)

Manushri is a third-year undergraduate student from India. While she began her undergraduate career as a business student, she is currently majoring in Political Science and English. After graduation, Manushri hopes to attend law school with a particular interest in pursuing international humanitarian law. She has a deep appreciation for her past internships at the Minnesota Senate and the Governor’s Office, at which she learned a great deal about politics, public affairs, and the many human rights issues that constituents faced. 

The ways in which public policy and government decision-making shape the lives of people is the reason Manushri developed an interest in human rights. After taking her first international relations class, she learned about the theoretical and practical aspects of warfare and diplomacy, and soon after, she enrolled in a laws of war class that focused on the rules of armed conflict and the diverse perspectives of civilians and combatants. “In those classes we talked about how civilians are treated […] the injustices that people of color face, and how they are treated.. After that, I knew I wanted to do something in human rights.” 

After looking for research opportunities that she could engage in this spring, Manushri came across Dr. Walling’s announcement seeking undergraduate research assistants. Manushri took the time to learn more about Dr. Walling’s area of expertise and past research and described how “she seemed like such a knowledgeable person, so I knew I wanted to work with her. I’m very excited because all the work we are doing is fascinating.” 

The research project that Manushri is taking part in is titled, “Mass Atrocity Crimes and Global Criminal Justice: Aligning U.S. Human Rights Policy at Home and Abroad.” Focusing on transitional justice mechanisms, Manushri will be analyzing the different processes that countries use to address human rights violations. Specifically, she will be examining the gender aspects of these processes: how women are affected by transitional justice decision-making and the extent to which they are addressed. Manushri will also be learning about the United States’ experiences with transitional justice, as the country never had a transition—from, for example, dictatorship to democracy—and therefore, never had a healing process for people who have suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. 

“My main role is to look into the different mechanisms and processes that are being used [in the various other countries] and analyze the lessons learned to ensure that these violations are being addressed in an effective way.”

Having never worked on a research project in this capacity, Manushri is excited to learn from Dr. Walling, grow her research skills, and see the end result of her hard work. 

We are looking forward to working with Manushri this Spring and are excited to see how this research progresses throughout the semester. Make sure to stay up-to-date with the Human Rights Program for updates on this project!

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