2019 International Postgraduate Fellowships

Sijuwade Falade ’19 Awarded David W. Leebron Human Rights Fellowship at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (Kenya)

Sijuwade Falade ’19
Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cornell University and LL.M. in international criminal law from the University of Amsterdam (expected May 2019)

Experience: Amnesty International USA, national member advocacy intern; Advocates for Community Alternatives, summer intern; Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic, student advocate; Columbia Human Rights Law Review, staff editor; LexisNexis, student representative; Gerard Fox Law PC, summer associate; Law in Africa Student Society, social events chair; Black Law Students Association, mentorship chair; Rightslink, mentorship chair

Motivation: “When I was 14 years old, I attended a Christian youth conference where survivors of a trafficking ring in Greece shared their horrific experiences of forced labor and sexual violence. Their stories left me in tears and strengthened my interest in social justice. As I got older, I was motivated to learn more about human trafficking and other human rights atrocities. This experience, along with the current political climate, influenced me to study law and fueled my desire to protect human rights and generate sustainable change. Throughout my law school career, I have become involved in myriad activities and taken classes to inform my knowledge in human rights and human rights work, including working on the right to education and legal reform workshops in the Central African Republic.”

Goals: “My project is twofold: to assist UNHCR Kenya’s Resettlement Unit in drafting resettlement applications that would lead to permanent residency status for refugees in third states, and to create a foundation for an appeals process in conjunction with U.S. immigration lawyers to review of cases rejected by the United States and other countries. As a legal fellow with UNHCR Kenya, I will learn how to draft resettlement applications, interview survivors firsthand, engage directly with refugees (many of whom are women and children), and deepen my knowledge of international refugee law. This will help me build a foundation for a legal career promoting women’s and children’s rights and gender equality and combating sexual- and gender-based violence and forced sex trafficking in Africa.”

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The office of Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) guides Columbia Law School students who want to pursue public interest work throughout their academic careers and after graduation. SJI also assists in the process of applying to prestigious postgraduate fellowships. Read about other 2019 international public interest postgraduate fellows

Published May 6, 2019