Noemí Pérez-Vásquez - working on human rights for the United Nations (UN)

Noemí Pérez-Vásquez is currently working for the UN, and she has been involved in many different projects in the UN since she completed her degree at the University of Oslo.

Noemí Pérez-Vásquez - former student of the Public International Law programme (Photo: private)

Why did you choose this programme?

- The University of Oslo has a very dynamic academic community, which makes it a very open intellectual environment. Thanks to the benefits offered by the University, it attracts academics who are experts in different areas of international law. Also, I felt constantly supported by my professors, who were very approachable and always available when I needed it.
- In this regard, without having any previous experience of writing articles, I was encouraged to publish in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights a book review that was based on an essay that I prepared for one of my courses. Moreover, I was also given the opportunity to teach two classes on human rights at the 2012 UiO International Summer School.

What is your actual job?

- After my graduation, I decided to move to the field. This year, I have been working on human rights for the UN Department of Peacekeeping and Operations (DPKO) in South Sudan, and more recently for the UN Development Program (UNDP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the latter through a secondment position offered by the Norwegian Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights (NORDEM).

How do you use the knowledge you gained in your study, in your current job?

- While studying at the university, I was also exposed to the work of the Norwegian Human Rights Centre. Through its NORDEM Roster, and thanks to the recommendation of one of my professors, I was selected to become a Human Rights Consultant at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. While in this position, which was financially supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I assisted the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. I must say that as a young female professional from a developing country, I was really proud to be selected for this job and to carry out such an important task.

What tip would you like to share with other students regading career opportunities?

- Overall, through my studies in Norway, I acquired a more in-depth legal understanding in the area of human rights and I have been exposed to great professional opportunities. Finally, I would like to add that the fact that Norway is a leading country on the international protection of human rights makes the LL.M. programme an even more fascinating experience.

Published Dec. 3, 2013 9:00 AM - Last modified Dec. 5, 2013 8:50 AM