LSE Human Rights blog is a student-led project based in the Department of Sociology. It is a place for open discussion of ideas, events, and critical views on the topic of human rights – whatever the term means to you.
Anyone is free to contribute ideas for articles to the blog. LSE MSc Human Rights and MSc Human Rights and Politics students and members of the LSE Human Rights Doctoral Network are welcome to join the Editorial Team. If you are a student interested in joining the editorial board, just send an email to email@example.com.
The views expressed on the blog belong to the author alone.
Pranay Somayajula – Editor and Blog Coordinator (he/they)
Pranay is a candidate for the MSc in Human Rights at LSE, originally from the United States. In January 2022, he graduated with a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where his undergraduate senior thesis examined the relationship between Hindu nationalism and Revisionist Zionism and their respective influence on the contemporary Indian and Israeli political right. After graduating from GW, Pranay worked at a US-based nonprofit, Hindus for Human Rights, which advocates and raises awareness about India’s human rights crisis. In addition to freelance journalism focusing on human rights, Pranay also writes both fiction and essays, and runs the Substack blog no more mangoes, where they examine South Asian politics and diasporic identity from a critical left perspective.
Faria Rehman – Editor and Content Manager (she/her)
Faria is a candidate for the MSc in Human Rights at LSE. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Faria has always had a keen interest in social justice movements, political reconciliation, and women’s rights. Faria graduated from the College of William & Mary in May 2021 with a B.A. in a Self-Designed Degree in Human Rights. After graduation, she worked as a legal assistant for a criminal law firm as well as co-founding Girl, You Can!, a non-profit that uses healing-centered and feminist approaches to mentor women in the Philadelphia area exposed to life-altering traumas. Faria also runs the page @webelievethem on Instagram, which analyses her life, current events, and other topics through the lens of PTSD. An outspoken advocate for healing from sexual violence, Faria has spoken on podcasts, at her undergraduate university, and at the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women about PTSD, sexual violence, and the role of storytelling.
Lila Ovington – Editor and Co-Project Manager
Lila is an MSc Human Rights and Politics student at LSE. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations at King’s College London where she was part of the Identity Hunters editorial team, a journal focusing on themes of identity and nationalism. Her dissertation thesis explored the ongoing role of Orientalist constructions of identity in framing the governance of indigenous peoples in settler colonies. After graduating, she worked as Volunteer and Participant Coordinator with the non-profit English Pour Tout Le Monde, teaching English to refugees and asylum-seekers. Her main research interests include postcolonialism, nationalism, the politics of memory, and approaches to liberal cosmopolitanism in late modernity. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and most things David Lynch.
Fatima Mahmood – Editor and Co-Project Manager
Fatima is currently studying a MSc in Human Rights and Politics at the LSE. She studied a BSc in International Politics at the University of Huddersfield. During her undergraduate degree, Fatima has worked on projects related to student representation, political issues that included organising events on Islamophobia, ‘’Decolonising the Curriculum’ campaign, the ongoing Uyghur genocide, Palestine, Yemen and the connection to the diaspora.
Following her undergraduate degree, Fatima worked as a Communications and Projects Officer for a race equality organisation that led her to take part in the We Move: A Race Equality and Migrants’ Rights Summit organised by the race equality think tank, Runnymede Trust and supported the work of grassroots organisations in the local community. Through a research internship, Fatima has conducted research and drafted policy briefs on issues affecting British Muslims such as climate change, student loans, Islamophobia and human rights.
From Hong Kong to Kashmir to Palestine, Fatima is interested in the notion of international solidarity, movements against states and the way foreign and state policies impact movements. Fatima is currently volunteering for FEMYSO (Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations) to amplify the voices of European Muslims and contribute towards an inclusive Europe. Her main research interests include democracy, protest movements, securitisation, international solidarity and foreign policy. In her free time, Fatima loves to watch documentaries, spend time with loved ones, attend community events, read political books and drink lots of tea!
Beth Russell – Editor and Outreach Manager
Beth is a candidate for the MSc Human Rights Programme at LSE. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Bristol in Politics and International Relations, and undertook a year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley. Whilst there, Beth co-founded Berkeley’s first review on Human Rights (therightsstuff.org) which continues to publish internationally on Human Rights issues across the globe. Her research centres postcolonial and intersectional theories and she specialises in queer issues of justice. She has worked with international anti-trafficking organisations to facilitate research on this from a postcolonial perspective. She is an advocate for queer women in education and equality for all.
Jorge Montes Delijorge – Editor
Jorge Montes Delijorge (he/they) is an MSc Human Rights and Politics student at LSE. He completed his BA degree in International Relations at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. During his undergraduate studies, he completed a semester abroad at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
In Mexico, he was an advisor and consultant on gender and human rights and has worked on public, governmental, and private projects. He has volunteered in Brazil and Turkey on human rights and development projects. Jorge also worked at UNDP HQ in New York with the youth policy team and in the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations, with the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, on issues related to human rights, migration, gender equality, social development, youth peace and security, women rights, LGBT rights, etc. He also participated in the pilot program of the LGBT Inclusion Index in Mexico, an initiative led by UNDP that aims to measure the inclusion of LGBTI people in five strategic areas: security and violence, health, education, civic and political participation, and economic empowerment.
In his free time, Jorge enjoys dancing, cooking, fashion, musical theatre, and watching Mexican drag shows.
Sonam is a candidate for the MSc in Human Rights at LSE. She is an advocate from India and she always had a keen interest in refugee laws, child rights and LGBTQ+. Sonam completed her B.A. Llb from University of petroleum and energy studies, Dehradun, India.Her various written work has been published in national journals and books. Sonam has also written book reviews which are published on books and blogs. In her free time you can find her reading books or binge watching series.
Emma Doran – Editor
Emma (She/Her) is an MSc Candidate in Human Rights (Sociology Department) at The London School of Economics and Political Science. In July 2022, Emma graduated with a Masters in English Literature and History from The University of Edinburgh, UK. Emma’s dissertation, in English Literature, explored the cyclical nature of sexual violence upon both women and the feminised body of nature as a trope throughout literature. She has also taken several short courses specialising in women’s health, Indigenous People’s rights, the rights of the Child, as well the application of human rights in the UK courts, from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and City, University of London. Emma has also worked as a volunteer English tutor for Action Tutoring, which provides tutors for disadvantaged youths in schools; she has tutored several year 11 and 10 pupils in the lead up to their GCSE’s. Her main research interests are feminism, patriarchy, climate change and the violent mechanisms available to states. In her free time, she enjoys long walks in nature, puzzles and reading Octavia Butler and Japanese Literature.
Hayley D’Souza – Editor
Hayley is a social researcher who is studying for an MSc in Human Rights at LSE. She is interested in the intersection between gender equality, the environment and international law. Hayley completed her undergraduate studies in Geography at the University of Birmingham before commencing her career in social research, where she specialised in mixed-methods research studies and policy evaluations in the area of gender equality and health, primarily for the European Commission and its institutions. Recently, Hayley has led a number of research studies in relation to gender-based violence and LGBTQI+ groups including: a study for the European Institute for Gender Equality to explore the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Europe and decision-making in this area; a study for the European Parliament on the added value of the Istanbul Convention; and two studies for DG-JUST to explore the socio-economic and legal situation of Trans and Intersex people in Europe. She previously worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has volunteered as a teacher in Honduras and has conducted local government research in the UK.
Owen is a candidate for the MSc in Human Rights and Politics at LSE. He completed his BA in French and Italian at the University of Cambridge, with Erasmus+ placements at Sapienza Università di Roma and the European Forum for Urban Security. During his undergraduate, he was involved in the refugee advocacy movement Europe Must Act, working on local campaigns and research. He currently runs communications for the Legal Empowerment Project, which works to improve links between grassroots activists in the Global South and the international legal community. Owen’s main research interests include queer rights, migration and asylum, environmental justice and indigenous rights, social movements, and authoritarianism. In his free time, he enjoys language learning, literature and hiking.
Hala Morrar – Editor
Hala is currently a MSc Human Rights postgraduate student at LSE. She completed her BA in Human Rights and International Law with a minor in Economics at Al-Quds Bard College. During her undergraduate studies, she completed a semester abroad at the D.A. Tsenov Academy of Economics in Bulgaria, within the Erasmus+ Programme. In addition, she also participated in the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City for a term of intensive study and a professional internship. After graduating in 2019, she worked as a Media and Advocacy Coordinator at a Palestinian NGO, REFORM, raising awareness on the importance of empowering women and youth to participate in decision-making positions and processes. Following her undergraduate thesis on the double standards of the UN resolutions within the Palestinian context, her main academic interests include accountability of human rights violators, the question of prioritising some human rights over others and lawful violence in Palestine. In her spare time, she enjoys reading a good book and drinking a mean cup of coffee.
Kamil Hazbún Muñoz (he/him) is an MSc Human Rights and Politics student at LSE. He did his undergraduate studies on Political Science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago where he graduated in 2019. After graduation he worked for an NGO in Chile dedicated to the promotion of the wellbeing of children and youth that experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Through this experience he was able to work around the topics of mental health, suicide prevention, education, human rights and violence. In 2016 he co-founded an NGO that works towards raising awareness on the Palestinian cause and the relevance of opening a space for historically marginalised voices in this scenario. He is an advocate for queer issues, the rights of historically marginalised communities and hopes to work towards justice, equality, and protection of inalienable rights for everyone. He also loves spending time with his friends, grabbing coffee, eating hummus and taking long walks listening to music.
Sofia Pennacchietti – Editor
Sofia Pennacchietti (She/Her) is an MSc Candidate in Human Rights (Sociology Department) at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Sofia completed her BAH with a medial degree in Political Studies and English Literature at Queen’s University at Kingston Ontario, Canada. In her academic pursuits, she examines political obligation, post-colonialism, post-secularism, and migration theories. Sofia is interested in the ways that decolonial theories can address the social and political barriers faced by minority groups. She is also interested in the outcomes of religious and cultural groups in places with rich colonial histories, and the ways that place dictates the integration of immigrants and minority groups. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she founded the General Membership program at Queen’s Feminist Leadership in Politics, which facilitates volunteering, advocacy, and educational opportunities for Queen’s students. She also served as the Branding and Multimedia Director at The Queen’s International Affairs Associoation, the largest non-athletic club on the Queen’s campus, where she curated and developed all branding and multimedia. Sofia has competeitvely ridden horses in various show jumping circuits in Canada and the United States. On her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog “Walter,” spending time with her horses, and enjoying a gin and tonic with friends.
Rishiraj Sen – Editor
Rishiraj Sen is currently pursuing his Master’s in Human Rights and Politics (Sociology Department) at LSE. he has completed B.A. from Gauhati University (Guwahati College) with a major in English; and History, and Environmental Studies as pass-courses. His interests broadly lie in literature/ visual media, politics and human rights. He is deeply interested in exploring questions around migration, social exclusion, citizenship, marxism, Indian politics and cinema, nationalism,environmental justice, democracies, and inequality. In his free time, he likes discussing football, poetry and laughing at silly jokes.
Eline is currently an MSc Candidate in Human Rights and Politics (Sociology Department) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She completed her BA in International Relations at ESPOL (European School of Political and Social Sciences) in Lille, France. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she spent a semester at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Wanting to fully take part into the defense of human rights, she has been invested in several human rights-oriented organizations ranging from the think tank GROW (Generation for Rights Over the World), ESPOMUN (undergraduate Model United Nations Society, to LSESU Amnesty International, in parallel of her studies. Her research interests lean towards distant images of suffering, child rights and protection, and mass atrocities. Hence, after writing about the increasing indifference of the audience when confronted with pictures of vulnerable children for her undergraduate’s dissertation, her current research focuses on bringing to light the voices and experiences of children in genocide studies.
Megan is a candidate for the MSc Human Rights Programme at LSE, having completed her undergraduate in International Relations at Manchester Metropolitan University. Throughout her second and third year of undergraduate studies Megan held a research apprenticeship with the HALT project investigating domestic homicide in England and Wales. Her research on the project centred on the treatment of BAME victims and minoritisation within domestic homicide reviews, with her findings published in the Journal of Critical Social Policy. Her current research centres on the themes of guilt and institutional authority and its societal impact. In her free times enjoys theatre, literature and dinners with friends.
Paul grew up in Seoul and Southern California. He received his BA from the University of Tokyo, where he served as Managing Editor for the UTokyo International Law Hub and Editor-in-Chief for Komaba Times. His undergraduate thesis examines proposed amendments to the Japanese Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act through the lens of crimmigration studies. Contributing to projects with Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Compact for Migration, and human rights documentary “Ushiku” (2021) has influenced his research interests in crimmigration, TWAIL, and the politics of transnational solidarity. He frequents the Prince Charles Cinema and pretends to read on the tube.
Esilanna is an MSc in Human Rights and Politics candidate at LSE. In May 2022, she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Speech Communications from the University of La Verne, where she had two undergraduate theses. One of which she received an institutional award and recognition from the dean for developing a new, intersectional leadership model. She actively participated on the British Parliamentary debate team and received a full tuition scholarship to debate at the university. During her studies, she maintained multiple positions simultaneously, working as a Graduate Writing Tutor, Tutor Supervisor, and Teacher. As an educator, she teaches and coaches students in various formats of public speaking and debate, which she is still actively involved with. Currently, she is also the postgraduate officer for the Criminal Justice Society. Additionally, she works as an intern at Fuuse, a production company that works on human rights documentaries; She works on coordinating filming, researching, writing, interviewing former extremists and survivors of extremism, and liaising with other organizations to counter extremism.