Photos by Eric Grignol
Conducting field research, Kathleen Gibbons ’11, Deena Quitman ’10 and Charline Yim ’11 interview Alexia De Vincentis ’10, a former electric company employee who may have knowledge of corporate human rights abuses.
A foreign crisis 20 miles from campus
The pastoral grounds of MooseHill Farm in Sharon, Mass., became a fictitious central Asian country called Kerplakistan on Oct. 17 as more than 35 HLS students participated in a staged humanitarian crisis simulation, sponsored by the Human Rights Program. Students participated in the daylong field exercise, a mandatory component of the Humanitarian Protection in Situations of Armed Conflict and the Human Rights and the Environment courses. Students were given information about the fictitious country, which included a complex political history, evidence that violence was starting to spread and potential environmental abuses. Students were assigned roles and engaged with actors in the project, which is designed to give students a grasp of the challenges of conducting field research in complex humanitarian crises.
Mario Apreotesi ’11, Ariella Rosenberg ’10 and Shu-Yin (Tina) Yu ’11 interview Leigh Sylvan ’10, a village resident suspicious of the human rights investigators.
Titus Lin ’10, Kathleen Cui ’11 and Marissa Vahlsing ’11 interview Lecturer on Law Bonnie Docherty ’01, a village farmer with information about alleged human rights abuses.
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As students investigate whether human rights violations have occurred in the village, a destroyed schoolhouse shows evidence that a bombing may have taken place.
Anna Rückheim and Mona Williams ’11 represent the International Committee of the Red Cross, one of several organizations students were assigned to portray as part of the exercise.