Meet Emma Moderato, trainee within the Legal department
In 2016, the Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship was launched. The six month-programme is open for lawyers under the age of 30 and situated at Civil Rights Defenders headquarters in Stockholm, with the purpose of providing practical experience for future work with human rights. Here you can read more about Emma Moderato, our third trainee after Nazli Pirayehgar and Aida Samani.
Why did you apply for the traineeship?
I learned about the work of Civil Rights Defenders when I attended the Human Rights Clinic, a collaboration between Civil Rights Defenders and Uppsala University where law students work practically with human rights issues. I have always wanted to work with the law as an advocacy tool to pursue various rights issues in Sweden, which is exactly what Civil Rights Defenders does. For example, during the clinic, we got work with the case of the police register of Roma that Civil Rights Defenders ran and where the state was convicted of ethnic discrimination. It gave me an increased understanding of strategic procedurals and I felt that I wanted to learn more.
Through my work, I developed an interest in the systematic shortcomings that exist within compulsory care, an issue that is particularly important when we see that mental illness among young people is increasing.
What are your main tasks as a trainee?
Civil Rights Defender’s legal department works with, among other things, minority rights, indigenous rights, and discrimination. In my work, I focus a lot on the human rights of people who are locked up in institutions, such as prisons and detention centers. I write complaints to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (JO), judicial investigations, and write consultation responses. Right now, we work on a project that examines the rights of victims of crime in the custody of the Swedish Migration Agency. The clients we represent are often in a very vulnerable position but are rarely offered the conditions to be able to exercise their rights. Through my work, I developed an interest in the systematic shortcomings that exist within compulsory care, an issue that is particularly important when we see that mental illness among young people is increasing.
Why have you decided to focus on human rights in your work?
I am very interested in society, and my goal has always been to use the law as a tool to work for a more equal society. When I participated in the Human Rights Clinic, I felt I had come to the right place. Finally, a training and a platform for human rights lawyers from a rights perspective! Previously, I have focused on criminal and procedural law, focusing on victims of crime and the rule of law. To now be able to work with these issues from a human rights perspective is very exciting.
As a trainee, you gain practical experience of human rights work.
What can the Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship mean in terms of opportunities in the future?
It is a great qualification for future job openings and you develop a lot with this position. As a trainee, you gain practical experience in human rights work and combining law with advocacy. It is also a good platform to meet like-minded lawyers and organisations, which of course can give future opportunities. Whatever you choose to work with in the future, it is always a good idea to keep the rights perspective.
What would you like to do after the traineeship?
I want to run my own human rights law firm focused on, among other things, the rights of victims of crime and at the same time be a voice in the discussion in society, and contribute to civil society with my knowledge. Law is most fun when it can be combined with advocacy work from a rights perspective!
Emma Moderato has studied law with a focus on criminal and procedural law at Uppsala University. In 2016, she participated in the Human Rights Clinic, a collaboration between Civil Rights Defenders and Uppsala University, where law students work practically with human rights issues. Alongside her studies, she has held board positions in various associations which, among other things, work with issues for victims of crime. She has also completed a summer law clerk at the Administrative Court in Malmö.
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.