Report of My UNHCR Internship Program
B4 Reona Fukuhara
Hello. I am Reona Fukuhara, a member of Fujii’s Seminar. Since February 2020, I have been working at The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as an intern. Now, I belong to the Protection Unit, which works for enhancing the national actors’ ownership and capacity in domestic protection in Japan through advocacy and capacity building. Since I have completed half of my internship term, I would like to introduce my job and exciting points.
The main tasks of interns are translating, researching the case laws compilations on the recognition of refugees, taking minutes of a meeting, and handling phone calls and visits. The exciting work is researching law cases of specific countries, compiling and categorizing them based on the applying reasons or countries, because I was able to understand the tendency of applying reasons and the situation of origin countries through this work. Also, interns can participate in the Unit meeting and All-staff meeting. Through participating in these meetings, I can understand the whole picture of refugee trends and issues in Japan.
(Picture: About 30 people, including 13 interns, are in office. This picture is the farewell party for the admin intern. I can consult them about career paths and hear their experiences in graduate school or field. *This picture was taken on the 14th of February 2020)
Not only these experiences in the office, but I also had a lot of opportunities to take part in the external seminars and meetings. For example, I attended Refugee Studies Forum “Considering the deportation of refugee from sub-committee on detention and deportation” Through this seminar, I was able to understand a part of ongoing issues that sub-committee discussed, which is about the measures to prevent increasing the number of people those refuse to be deported and to prevent lengthening of detention. Also, I was able to re-confirm the importance of upholding the principle of non-refoulment. These external experiences and work at the office were really informative, and I got a keen interest in refugee protection more. I appreciate all staff and would like to devote myself to the rest of my internship.
This fiscal year is my last undergraduate year. Since most 4th grade students (including me) may have to start getting a job or preparing for the exam to enter graduate school, this year would be tough for us. No matter how tough it is, I would like to be the person who can enjoy it. At the same time, I hope that all my friends in Fujii’s seminar will be able to achieve their goal. May this fiscal year be the best in our school life!