The Duke Human Rights Center@FHI’s Human Rights Summer Research Grant takes undergraduate and graduate students from Duke all over the world. Check out the interactive map above to see where students have traveled. Click on the pins to learn more about each student and their research!


Cuquis Robledo at the ADA rally in Downtown Seattle to celebrate 25 years since the signing of the ADA, and interviewing people about whether much progress has been made since the ADA, or if more work needs to be done.

Meet the 2016 Summer Researchers

With the support of grants from the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, five undergraduate students and three graduate students spent the summer researching a variety of human rights issues. Projects ranged from interviewing sex workers about brothel conditions in Latin America, working with youth in northern Uganda on navigating post-conflict life, and promoting awareness of people with disabilities.

Diana Dai (’17) traveled to Amman, Jordan to interview domestic migrant workers about their lives and experiences interacting with the different power structures in the workplace.

History graduate student, Farren Yero’s, research provides insight on how legacies of colonial medicine in Latin America continued to shape global health practices well into the twentieth century. Her research took place at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Conducting fieldwork in Kigali, Jenna Zhang (’17) partnered with the Genocide Archive of Rwanda to explore tensions between the legalist paradigm of transitional justice and post-conflict realities in the aftermath of Rwandan genocide.

Cuquis Robledo (’17) aims to continue creating educational videos about the issues faced by Americans with disabilities. She worked with Disability Rights Washington to find out why after 25 years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act there is still not equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

As a first year SJD student at the Duke Law School, Christine Ryan’s research focuses on conceptualizing access to abortion as a human right in international human rights law.

Christine Ryan at the UN Human Rights Council

Jessica Van Meir (’17) examined the differences in conditions for sex workers in Latin American countries based on whether brothels are legal or illegal. She traveled to Ecuador and Argentina to interview sex workers’ collectives, anti-trafficking NGOs, law enforcement, and, when possible, sex workers themselves.

After receiving a grant for summer 2015 and postponing his trip to due to an earthquake in Nepal, Rinzin Dorjee (’17) traveled to Kathmandu to document the plight of Tibetan refugees through a short documentary and a collection of portraits for a video and photo exhibition.

Matthew Sebastian, a second year graduate student working towards a PhD in Cultural Anthropology, is focusing on the consequences of humanitarian action in the aftermath of prolonged conflict. He focused on preliminary research for his dissertation on the ways in which young people in northern Uganda navigate the limits and possibilities of post-conflict life and the interventions that are designed to help them do so.

To read about their research, click here.