Aida Samani is the second lawyer to join the Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship
The Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship is aimed at lawyers under the age of 30, takes place at the headquarters of Civil Rights Defenders in Stockholm, and provides professional experience for future work with human rights. Aida Samani is the second trainee after Nazli Pirayehgar, who was the first to be assigned the position.
Why did you apply for the traineeship?
I have followed Civil Rights Defenders’ work for a long time and I think it is fantastic work. That fact that we work with violations of human rights in Sweden and pursue legal cases as part of advocacy work to form a public opinion – for example, the criminal case of the police registry of Roma, where we won against the state. We work with human rights in Sweden’s locked institutions, minority rights, and discrimination, to name a few. There is a wide range of areas, which I find interesting.
What are your main tasks as a trainee?
I get to work with legal proceedings, write consultation responses to government inquiries and map how Sweden lives up to its international commitments. There has also been a lot of networking since the Legal department, where I work, works closely with other stakeholders within civil society. The traineeship is a combination of qualified legal work and advocacy work in different ways. That’s what makes it so exciting.
Why have you decided to focus on human rights in your work?
My parents are political refugees from Iran so I’ve always been aware of the atrocities a state can commit against individuals. This initially triggered an interest in the field of human rights. Through my community involvement, I became aware early on that there are major shortcomings within the Swedish legal system when it comes to human rights, which I want to counteract.
What can the Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship mean in terms of opportunities in the future?
Having experience from a human rights organisation like Civil Rights Defenders is a great qualification moving forward. I have been given excellent opportunities to develop. I got to work with a wide range of issues, which also gave me a lot of responsibility and room to be creative. It provides a good foundation for future work but also makes you attractive for future job openings.
What would you like to do after the traineeship?
I want to continue working with human rights at organisations, especially in the non-profit sector. I am particularly interested in the Middle East and would like to work internationally.
Aida Samani is a lawyer, specialising in human rights, from Lund University. Previously, she has been an intern at the anti-discrimination agency Malmö against Discrimination and at Sweden’s Permanent Representation at the UN in New York. Aida has also worked as a summer law clerk at the Administrative Court in Stockholm and at Gotland District Court. During her studies, she worked on a non-profit basis with legal advice and as a representative for asylum seekers, newcomers, and undocumented people.
Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship
The programme, which has been made possible through the support of Civil Rights Defenders’ founder and honorary chair Gerald Nagler, is aimed at lawyers under the age of 30 with a documented interest in human rights work, as well as relevant work experience. The programme contributes to increasing the number of Sweden-based lawyers who engage in human rights work. In the long run, the programme contributes to a higher level of knowledge about human rights related issues among lawyers working in different sectors. The traineeship runs for six months at a time.
The recruitment is conducted in collaboration with the leadership consultancy company Pelago AB. The company offers their services pro bono in order to help find future human rights lawyers and give the applicants important experience for future recruitment processes.