Working as an intern for
the Sub-Committee on Africa broadened my horizon on issues
vital to Africa and the United States. My interest was mainly
in Human Rights activities. The committee had several interesting
hearings I wish to share here.
First, there was "Suffering and Despair: Humanitarian
Crisis in the Congo," the purpose of which hearing was
to encourage the end of rape, torture, massacres, violence
and destruction in the Congo and eventually to bring the culprits
"A Discussion on the U.N. World Conference Against Racism,"
the second hearing, was designed to "adopt and implement
laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color,
descent, or national or ethic origin at all levels of education;
eliminate educational practices within and among schools that
contribute to deficiencies in minority students achievement
and limit access to quality education."
The third hearing, "African Crisis Response Initiative
(ACRI): A Security Building Block," aimed to, "create
national units of African troops able to operate jointly and
effectively in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations throughout
what is commonly believed to be the worlds most conflict
ridden continent." ACRI is responsible for training African
troops in Africa. The goal is to reduce coup plots and devastating
"Has the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Lost Its Course?"
was the question raised at the fourth hearing. In it Congress
was "conducting a policy review, looking closely at new
opportunities and tactics
that will enable the U.S. to continue to aggressively pursue
its human rights objectives worldwide."
In the final hearing, "The Sudan Peace Act; And Condemning
the Recent Order by the Taliban Regime of Afghanistan to Require
Hindus in Afghanistan to Wear Symbols, Identifying Them as
Hindu," there was an offer of protection to victims of
genocide, slavery and human rights abuses.
In addition to the hearings, which made for a very busy situation,
I attended numerous briefings and wrote briefs too. My favorite
briefing was from the Human Rights Watch Organization. The
issue at hand was that the United States needed to send relief
to the Liberian refugees, who had been neglected, and the
Human Rights officials insisted the United States become involved
in solving the crisis. The committee also covered the issue
of child labor in Africa. Children are put to labor to generate
money and goods in most African countries and this violates
their human rights. During my internship, I researched and
complied articles on human rights violations in all African
The International Relations Committee environment was comfortable,
and my supervisors and colleagues received me properly. Interning
with the committee was very educational and exciting. I highly
NOTE: Now on the Bunche Center staff, Ms. Iroabuchi graduated
magna cum laude from Howard in 2002, having been elected to
Phi Beta Kappa.