Law student Salome Kiknadze has been selected to deliver a Human Rights in Action programme in Coventry supported by the local branch of the United Nations Association and the World Federation of UNAs in Geneva.
In order to win this position, Salome had to compete with 16 other excellent candidates who were mostly students from Coventry or Warwick Universities. She and four others were shortlisted to give a 3 minute “Dragon’s Den” type pitch to a selection panel about an idea for a project they might run.
The chair of the selection panel Philip Brown said “Salome had the most exciting idea for a project as well as demonstrating that she is committed to human rights and is driven, creative, and well-organized. The panel was inspired by her ideas, impressed by the research she had done and the United Nations Association Coventry Branch are delighted to be working with her on this very exciting programme.”
In August Salome will go to the United Nations in Geneva to be trained by the Human Rights in Action programme, organised by the World Federation of UNAs, in the international human rights system and in project management. A very valuable part of the programme is the opportunity to meet and work with around 20 other trainees from around the world.
After her training, Salome will return to Coventry and run a human rights project for 6 months working in conjunction with the local UNA branch and supported by the staff in Geneva.
“I feel particularly passionate about increasing access to legal justice,” Salome said. “In fact, I obtained my place on the Lloyds Scholars programme through a refugee legal empowerment project I proposed and defended during assessment centre interviews. I intend to contribute even more meaningfully to supporting the global development of human rights in the next several years, and I believe that taking part in the Human Rights in Action Programme will be a significant step in achieving this.”
When asked why she wants to take part in this Programme, Salome explained:
“I have long advocated for the role of education in transforming and empowering members of society. Having decided early on that I wanted to pursue a career in international human rights law, I consistently strive to improve my own knowledge of the international human rights system through the optional modules I take at Warwick University and by means of wider reading and research, as well as through volunteering in various organisations.
“The Human Rights in Action Programme is a fantastic opportunity to build on my current knowledge in a different manner altogether. Through this I will be able to identify how I, both through running the project in Coventry and throughout the rest of my career, can fit into this global picture and contribute to increasing the prevalence of highly functioning and accessible human rights systems.”
When we asked her “What do you hope to gain?” she said:
“Human rights can very often feel like a notion more theoretical and visionary rather than something that could be of direct applicability to everyday life. I hope that by taking part in the Human Rights in Action Programme I would myself learn to conceptualise human rights as a more pragmatic body of protections and learn how existing mechanisms can be utilised by people in order to empower them with all the rights, freedoms and protections given to them by various UN conventions and programmes.”
Salome will need to raise £700 to cover the cost of the training in Geneva plus around another £5000 to support the cost of running the project. Philip Brown said:
“UNA Coventry are delighted to announce that Coventry City of Culture has already donated half the cost of the training and we are very grateful to them. We will be working with Salome over the summer to raise the remaining finance needed to run this project. We will also be working with Coventry Lord Mayor’s Committee for Peace and Reconciliation, the Coventry Schools Peace and Justice Forum and others to make this project a success.”