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Humanity in Action Summer Programs 2008


 Warsaw Paris Washington D.C. Berlin Amsterdam San Francisco Copenhagen New York Humanity in Action Summer Programs 2008 Humanity in Action organizes international summer programs on diversity, minority rights and human rights for students from Europe and the US.

Every summer over 100 European and American students are assigned to a five-week program of lectures, site visits and discussions. Six students from Bosnia and Herzegovina can participate in one of the European Core Programs in Denmark, France or The Netherlands, which includes a visit to the US.

Humanity in Action covers all costs.

Applications are due March 1st, 2008 by 10 am.

What is Humanity in Action?


Humanity in Action (HIA) is an international organization devoted to the study of human- and minority rights issues, especially their violations, through an interdisciplinary approach.
It is our vision that one has to have knowledge of the past in order to understand the present. The persecution of the Jews during WWII is one of our focal points. Subsequently, we continue our study by examining developments after 1945, in particular how human rights were defined in an international context and the way societies treat minorities today.
Humanity in Action’s mission is to educate its participants on minority issues, to challenge participants to defend the rights of vulnerable groups in societies, to enforce leadership in this field; to sustain democratic values and to build an international community of people who share these ideals.

European Core Programs
June 6 – July 8, 2008

All European programs start with a short introduction period for all participants in Copenhagen. Afterwards the group is divided between the five country programs that take place in The Netherlands, Poland, France, Denmark and Germany. Each country invites twenty participants; ten from the host country and ten students from the US. In addition we invite six visiting fellows from Bosnia and Herzegovina to take part in the Dutch, Danish or French program, two in each country.
In each country, program participants focus on the local situation by studying human- and minority rights issues in that particular country. The programs start with a ten-day period of lectures and excursions. Afterwards, teams of two or three participants will conduct research and produce a paper on a specific topic within the overall framework. At the end of the program all papers have to be presented before the group. The summer program finishes with a meeting in Copenhagen where all the participants will gather again.

Then, there will be two separate follow up programs: in the Fall half of the European participants will meet in New York for a program on social and economic rights of minorities in the US.
In January 2009 the other half of the European participants will meet in Washington D.C. for an intensive program on American governance, democracy and politics and equal rights.

All costs that are related to the program during the summer and during the follow up program in New York or Washington D.C. are covered by HIA. This includes travel expenses, housing, stay in hostels, visa and insurance costs. During the program in Europe fellows will stay with a host family. The families will provide most of the meals and dinners that are not included in the program. Visiting fellows will also get pocket money for lunches during the program.

HIA Internships

Participants that have successfully finished the program are eligible for unique international internships programs. There is a separate selection procedure for these internships, which are not obligatory. There are also individual HIA internships that participants can apply for.

HIA internship programs
There are currently three HIA internship programs: the Lantos Fellowship Program in Washington D.C. at Capitol Hill; the Pat Cox Program at the European Parliament in Brussels and the Berlin Internship Program at different governmental and non-governmental organisations in Berlin. Interns will work four days a week on topics relating to the present day situation of transatlantic relations, minorities and human rights. The fifth day interns will attend a lecture-series, excursions or have individual working days. Fellows are also required to produce a paper at the end of the period.

The Lantos Fellowship Program will run from February 1st until June 1st, 2009. Only two fellows of each country program will be able to intern at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The tasks and responsibilities of an intern consist of working in the office of a Congress member. There is no financial compensation for this internship.
The Pat Cox Program runs from March 2nd until May 29th, 2009. There are 12 places in Brussels available for fellows from all countries. Tasks and responsibilities of a HIA-intern consist of supporting the office of a Member of Parliament.
For the internship program in Berlin there are 6 places available for European fellows. The program will run from early August until mid November. Please note that the working language for most of the internships in this program is German.

The costs of lectures and excursions for these internships will be financed by Humanity in Action. The participant must finance all other expenses related to travel, housing, living, visa and insurance. Fellows are encouraged to look for funds and grants.

Individual HIA internships
Individual HIA internships are possible with institutes or organizations that cooperate closely with HIA. There is no educational program linked to these internships. Interns will be selected in consultation with or by the institution.

There are internships available at:

• International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague
• Anne Frank Foundation, Amsterdam
• Center for Human Rights, Copenhagen
• Interpol, Lyon
• United Nations, New York
• Several institutions in Berlin

There is no financial compensation available; the expenses related to these internships have to be financed by the applicant. More information can be found at our website. Fellows are encouraged to look for funds and grants.

After the program

Following the Core Program fellows are required to launch a project that is in line with the mission of HIA and engage pressing issues in their own communities. In the past fellows have organized lectures and exhibitions, hosted conferences related to human rights and minority rights. Examples of these projects can be found at our website. HIA also hopes to gain assistance from the Bosnian Senior Fellows with the promotion of future programs in Bosnia.

Senior Fellow Networks
One of the goals of HIA is to build an international network. After the program HIA expects former participants to stay connected with other fellows and involved with the organization in the future. Senior Fellows in several HIA countries have set up alumni associations. Since their foundation these associations have developed over the years into a global network of over 650 fellows worldwide. The fellows meet on a regular basis, organize social events, drinks and lectures.
Since a number of students from Bosnia have participated as visiting fellows in recent HIA programs there are now several Senior Fellows that live and study in Bosnia. In the long term we intend to support the creation of a Bosnian Senior Fellow association. Until such an association is set up the fellows can also join the Senior Fellow association for the country program that they participated in.

Humanity in Action Nederland

Humanity in Action Nederland is an independent foundation, which is responsible for all Humanity in Action activities in The Netherlands. Former mayor of Amsterdam, Ed van Thijn and Prof. dr. Ruth Oldenziel chair the board. The foundation cooperates with sister organizations in Denmark, France, Poland, Germany and the US. The program is financed through donations from institutions and individuals including board members and Senior Fellows.

Special funding
In 2007 the Dutch government sponsored the participation of five students from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the fall of 2007, HIA The Netherlands has asked the government for a grant that would allow for 6 visiting fellows from Bosnia and Herzegovina. We believe that because they come from a former war situation, students from Bosnia and Herzegovina can contribute a unique perspective to the program and a different point of view on the issues that HIA deals with in its programs. However, given this special financial situation, the participation of Bosnian fellows can only take proceed if HIA obtains the subsidy. Naturally, we hope that we our request will be granted.

Application Procedure

Because of the number of applications there is a competitive procedure. In order to be eligible to apply applicants must study at a university, have finished the first year of their bachelor, can express themselves fluently in English, and are permanent residents of this country are eligible to apply. The selection committee will pay attention to motivation, study results, leadership capacities, English oral and written skills and the likelihood of the candidate’s future engagement with topics relevant to HIA. The first selection will be made based on the applications. Several students will be invited/called for an interview on the phone with the officer in charge of the selection process in March and April 2008. Based on these interviews, the final participants will be chosen.

The deadline for application is March 1st, 2008.

Please note that your application should be written in English and will take some time to gather. So make sure to start working on your application in time. You can downloaded the application forms with an extensive explanation on the further requirements from our website.

Academic Credits
Participation in the Humanity in Action does not automatically generate study credits. We advise students to contact their university in advance to ask about the possibility of receiving credits for participation.

More information
The HIA programs in 2008 will closely resemble the 2007 programs (although not exactly). We advise prospective applicants to visit our website and to look at the 2007 program materials. The program schedule of 2008 will be announced in June. More information on HIA can be found at our website. Here you can also find a video on HIA, our annual reports, papers written by our fellows, and their testimonials. If you want to get in touch with one of the Senior Fellows, or if you have any other questions relating to your application, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact info:
Humanity in Action Nederland
P.O.Box 9195
1006 AD Amsterdam
0031-20-3467 339