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Drew University Alum Heads to Elite Human Rights Advocacy Program

Marwa Elessawy C’22 found human rights passion through a Drew seminar course

March 2024 – Drew University alum Marwa Elessawy C’22 has been accepted to the International Service for Human Rights’ Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Program (HRDAP).

The program will include the opportunity to advocate before the United Nations in Geneva at Human Rights Council sessions.

Among the most impactful experiences at Drew for Elessawy was the seminar Global Discourse on Human Rights with Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Relations Jinee Lokaneeta.

“It taught me that despite the shortcomings of the international human rights framework, its leverage remains pivotal for social transformation,” said Elessawy, a political science and economics major. “The course inspired me to explore the human rights sphere.”

Immediately following Drew, Elessawy became a paralegal for the ACLU’s National Human Rights Program, where she supports litigation, coordinates advocacy before international human rights mechanisms, and conducts policy research.

Through this work, Elessawy identified a specific passion that the HRDAP will help hone.

“I aim to collate the advantages of engaging with different UN human rights mechanisms and ascertain which mechanisms are most strategic for advancing HRP’s work in defending prisoners’ rights, including abolishing juvenile life without parole and combating the economic exploitation of prisoners,” said Elessawy.

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