HRP Awards 2022-23 Post-Graduate Fellowships

From left to right: Henigson fellow Seher Aftab and Satter fellow Rosalinn Zahau

The Human Rights Program (HRP) is pleased to present its 2022-2023 Post-Graduate Fellows. This year, we have awarded Satter and Henigson Fellowships to two remarkable 2022 Harvard Law School (HLS) graduates: Henigson Fellow Seher Aftab LLM ’22 (on the left of photo above) and Satter Fellow Rosalinn Zahau LLM ’22 (on the right).

HRP’s post-graduate fellowships are designed to help launch the careers of students who have demonstrated great promise as advocates while at HLS. Fellows are placed with human rights organizations working under highly challenging circumstances. In light of the ravages accelerated by the pandemic, wars, growing authoritarianism and worldwide inequality, HRP is more committed than ever to supporting the careers of young professionals devoted to international human rights and social justice. Learn more about the new fellows and their projects below.

2022-23 Satter Fellow

Rosalinn Zahau standing in front of pillars and wearing a black top and black blazer.

Rosalinn Zahau LL.M. ‘22 will be a Satter Fellow for the academic year of 2022-2023. She will join the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), where she will focus on investigating, gathering, and preserving evidence of grave human rights abuses committed by the military command structure in Myanmar.

Rosalinn’s professional experience includes stations with local and international NGOs in South and Southeast Asia. Notably, she worked in Myanmar as a human rights focused research consultant and program officer for various non-profit organizations, including Open Society, Freedom House and Foundation for a Just Society. In India, Rosalinn worked for CHRO, Euro-Burma Office and the International Office for Migration on issues related to refugee rights and strengthening civil society groups and human rights protection in Myanmar.

In addition to extensive professional experience in the human rights field, Rosalinn is an engaged activist. She was a part of a group which engaged in the drafting process of the Chin State Constitution inside Myanmar. As a volunteer lecturer at the Spring Myanmar University, an ad-hoc initiative set up after the 2021 coup to educate students from the civil disobedience movement, Rosalinn teaches classes on Comparative Constitutional Law. She further is a board member of several civil society organizations.

As part of her LL.M. program at HLS, Rosalinn focused on human rights and environmental law and was active in the International Human Rights Clinic. In her clinical work she engaged in research on the utilization of explosive weapons in populated areas and on the negotiating history of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. She also contributed to the development of a treaty on autonomous weapons systems in cooperation with Human Rights Watch researchers. Before coming to HLS, Rosalinn received her LL.B. from the University of Delhi and obtained her first LL.M. degree from the University of London as a Chevening scholar focused on identifying legal measures to improve the imbalance between indigenous land rights protection and foreign direct investment regulations in Myanmar. 

2022-23 Henigson Fellow

Seher Aftab sitting on a wooden bench in front of lush green trees.

Seher Aftab LLM’22 is a Pakistani human rights advocate. She will be a Henigson Fellow for the 2022-2023 academic year with the International Legal Foundation (ILF). Her project will focus on providing quality legal aid services for women, children and other vulnerable populations who are at a heightened risk of large-scale human rights violations in Afghanistan. She will conduct legal research focusing on an analysis of Sharia law and jurisprudence focusing on due process and criminal procedure standards in religious, customary, and informal justice systems. She will also assist Afghan lawyers working on litigation strategies, advocacy, and policy development on issues and challenges within the justice system of Afghanistan.

Seher received an LL.B. (Hons) from the University of London in 2018, after which she joined Musawi, where she worked on different human rights issues, such as representing survivors of gender-based violence, including those threatened by honor killing, victims of domestic abuse, and forced marriages. She was engaged in researching and writing reports and policy briefs on the challenges faced by refugees in Pakistan and women living in slum areas of Lahore in accessing maternal healthcare. She also conducted exploratory research in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan to assess the performance of the newly formed formal criminal justice system.

At HLS, she focused her academic work on topics related to international law and human rights. She was an active member in the International Human Rights Clinic, participated in HLS’s Advocates for Human Rights by working on the application of international human rights treaties in Pakistan, and was an editor of the Human Rights Journal. She also worked as a Research Assistant for the International Human Rights Clinic, providing research support to an organization in Afghanistan advocating for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Recently, she researched and co-authored the national report on Pakistan for the Lex-Atlas: COVID-19, a study mapping national legal responses to COVID-19 globally. Currently, she is working on drafting a report mapping the impact of COVID-19 on stateless communities in Pakistan.