Faculty Profiles

Joseph Berra

Joseph Berra

Clinical and Experiential Project Director
B.A. St. Louis University, 1981
M.Div. Universidad Centroamericana, 1990
M.A. University of Texas at Austin, 1994
J.D. St. Mary’s University School of Law, 1997

LAW 927 - International Human Rights Clinic: International Field Experience

The Promise Institute for Human Rights is offering for the 2019 J-Term the International Human Rights Field Experience.  The International Human Rights Field Experience offers students a unique opportunity to engage in human rights work in an international context and learn from leading human rights lawyers and activists on the ground.  Building on work of the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) with clients and partners in Honduras, the 2019 J-Term course will give students an intensive immersion experience in the human rights struggle in Honduras.  Students will participate in Honduras in a variety of learning modules and workshops in dialog with our partners, clients, and activists, as well as conduct fieldwork in a collaborative model of human rights advocacy on behalf of our clients and in support of the litigation efforts of our partners. Students can expect 10-12 hours of background reading and preparation prior to travel.
 
Students will have a full and demanding schedule; with departure tentatively scheduled on the early morning (overnight flight) of January 3, 2019 and return on January 20 (students must be available for travel for the duration of the project).  We will work closely with attorneys from the human rights department of the Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación de Honduras (ERIC), based in El Progreso, Honduras.  Fieldwork will focus on collaborations with the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH) and the Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH).  We will also be in dialog with other grass roots organizations engaged in the struggle for human rights.  Fieldwork projects will be designed in coordination with our partners, with a view towards making a positive contribution, in a collaborative framework, to ongoing human rights litigation, pre-litigation, or research to be used in advocacy.  Our main base will be in El Progreso, Yoro, with in-country travel likely for our fieldwork as well as meetings in Tegucigalpa. 

A minimum of intermediate level Spanish is required.  Fieldwork will be linked to ongoing projects and work that will continue in the Spring 2019 Human Rights in Action Clinic (HRAC).  Student with prior experience in the IHRC or who jointly apply for the Spring HRAC will be given preference for this J-Term field experience.  However, other students are encouraged to apply if they can show a demonstrated commitment to the field of human rights or a significant connection to Latin America.  Travel and per diem expenses (lodging and meals) will be covered by the Promise Institute.  Travel will be arranged and registered through UC travel.  As a university activity, travel insurance will be provided by the UC system: http://www.ucop.edu/risk-services/loss-prevention-control/travel-assistance/index.html

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and most of Latin America do not need a visa to travel to Honduras; however, a valid passport with an expiration date no earlier than July 2019 is required.  Citizens of other countries should review the list of countries for which a visa is required to enter Honduras, and the process for obtaining a visa here:

http://www.sre.gob.hn/inicio/Formatos,%20servicios%20y%20tasas/REQUISITOS%20Tramite%20de%20Visas%20en%20Consulados%20de%20Honduras.pdf

International students seeking to participate should check with the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars regarding travel abroad and return on their student visa.

In addition to the application, Professor Berra will interview applicants prior to admission into the course. Admitted students will meet with Professor Berra in early December to go over logistics for the course, protocols, and health and safety concerns.  If you have any particular concerns, please contact Professor Berra.

Enrollment for the International Human Rights Field Experience is capped at four students