Graduate profile | Law

Graduate profile

Benjamin Lee

Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights
"There’s a real sense of adventure that comes with human rights work."

My role

I work with the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF), which is a regional human rights organisation. I have two main roles at the APF: working with governments in the Pacific toward setting up independent human rights bodies in their countries, and working with the UN’s human rights mechanisms in Geneva.

A typical day

Each day is a little different. My work is a mix of a lot of things: developing policy and legal positions and feeding these into UN processes; meeting and corresponding with counterparts that range from little human rights organisations through to governments and UN experts; representing the APF at meetings overseas; and identifying new projects and partnerships. I also spend a lot of time on the road.

What I like most

Getting to work on issues that I’m really passionate about. There’s also a real sense of adventure that comes with human rights work. I’ve been able to travel to and live in extraordinary places; some beautiful, some quite tragic. These experiences have given me perspective and some insight into what life’s actually like for many people. I’ve also been very lucky to meet and work with some amazing people.

How I got here

After finishing uni I moved to India to work with a small human rights centre. Since then I’ve worked with the UN’s human rights office (OHCHR) and the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, as a human rights advisor on bill of rights process in Northern Ireland, and as a human rights consultant in Nepal and Thailand.

Hours per week

There’s really no typical week, but probably up to 50 hours. More when I’m on the road.

Salary range

Salary is often open to negotiation and will be determined by the particular role, the organisation’s size and type, and the experience that you’re bringing.

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