Kristin is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Public Policy and International Law at the American University of Paris. She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. After completing her undergraduate education, she worked in the banking industry for five years as an Accounting Controls Consultant and Senior Financial Controls Analyst. Kristin is focusing her studies on refugee protection and international human rights law and hopes to pursue a career at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
With the arrest of Goran Hadžić on July 20 this year and his transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the last remaining war crimes suspect on the ICTY’s list will be brought to justice after seven years on the run. The tribunal will be able to close its doors after almost 20 years of working to prosecute those most responsible for the atrocities during the wars of the former Yugoslavia. The tribunal has endeavored to deliver justice to victims, and has served as a catalyst for the recent development in the area of international criminal law. Continue reading →
On 5 July, six days before the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre that killed 7,000 to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, an appeals chamber in the Netherlands handed down an unexpected and historic verdict that for the first time found a state responsible for conduct in a UN peacekeeping mission. The case (Nuhanović v. The Netherlands) involved the deaths of three Muslim men handed over to Bosnian Serb forces by Dutch peacekeepers at the UN compound near Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 Balkan conflicts. The decision was celebrated by human rights groups but may have far reaching effects on the willingness of states to contribute troops to UN peacekeeping missions and may influence other cases involving UN and state responsibility for Srebrenica. In addition, the ruling brings to light larger questions about the accepted status quo of immunity for UN peacekeeping forces. Continue reading →
Debating Human Rights reviews current refugee issues and challenges readers to “Do 1 Thing” on World Refugee Day
Today UNHCR celebrates World Refugee Day to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and highlight the inequalities and imbalances of the current refugee protection regime. Through their new “Do 1 Thing” campaign, the organization is encouraging the public to engage in one simple activity to support refugees, either by learning about refugee issues, spreading awareness or donating money. The dynamic website accompanying the campaign includes a refugee simulation game and a video recorded by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie amongst other materials. Continue reading →
Approximately 72 refugees and migrants were left to die in the vicious waters between Libya and Italy according to an 8 May 2011 report released by The Guardian. The boat ran out of fuel in mid-March approximately 60 miles off the coast of Tripoli and drifted for more than two weeks at sea before washing up on the shore of the Libyan town of Zlitan near Misrata. Without adequate drinking water or food only 11 were alive when the boat reached land, one died almost immediately upon return and another died in prison during a four day detention by President Gaddafi’s forces. In a disturbing twist, the boat had been able to send a distress call to a refugee rights organization in Rome that immediately alerted the Italian coastguard. Supplies were then dropped onto the boat by an unidentified helicopter that told them to remain in their current position and wait for a rescue boat; however, no such rescue boat ever arrived. Later, the boat drifted within close proximity of a large military vessel assumed to be an aircraft carrier operated by NATO, yet no attempt was made to rescue the distressed migrants and refugees. The Guardian reported that the boat held 47 Ethiopians, seven Nigerians, seven Eritreans, six Ghanaians and five Sudanese migrants, many of whom were fleeing persecution in their home country. Continue reading →
On 17 March the United States Department of Labor reported that in February 2011, wholesale food prices experienced their largest one-month increase (3.9%) since 1974. The news followed announcements that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index had reached the highest levels since its inception in 1990. Droughts in Russia and China, floods in Australia and unrest in the Middle East have all contributed to the inflated food prices that have pushed the world to the brink of full-blown crisis. This is particularly bad news for the 925 million people worldwide who are undernourished and for the 44 million people who have been driven into poverty since June of 2010 due to rising food prices. In response to the price inflation, the G20, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has made food security a key priority.
Amongst the flurry of news surrounding the resignation of President Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, has called upon the Palestinian people to protest against the Israeli occupation in the spirit of the revolutionary movement that has swept the Middle East. This is the same leader who, last month, insisted that he would continue to recognize Mr. Ben Ali as the rightful President of Tunisia. And yet, for a man with a dubious reputation in foreign affairs due to initiatives such as a UN resolution to abolish Switzerland, Gaddafi may have a point.