December 22 2005
ILR Expands Credit Internship Program to Asia
Helen Yang, BS ’07, will spend the Spring semester in Beijing working with the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). As an ILR Credit Intern, Helen will join an ongoing project to prevent trafficking in girls and young women for labor exploitation in China. The main objective is to "prevent girls and young women ending up in the 'entertainment industry' or other unacceptable forms of work in China by reducing vulnerability to trafficking," something IPEC says is fueled by unprepared and ill-informed migration. It is very difficult to protect the rights of migrant workers if their migration is not managed through safe channels, and the influx of huge numbers of rural laborers has created opportunities for those who would exploit the most vulnerable.
In proposing intervention, the ILO, in collaboration with the Chinese government and non-governmental agencies, is working with communities to warn those at high risk and, among other things, to promote managed migration for employment. Read a summary of the project (pdf).
Helen’s internship in Beijing marks the first placement in Asia arranged through the ILR Credit Internship Program. Brigid Beachler, assistant director of the Credit Internship Program, worked closely with the ILO in Beijing to make this opportunity a reality. In announcing the placement, Director Clete Daniel also noted the essential role of The Waks Family Fund for International Education and Research, "That we are able to afford such an extraordinarily enriching educational opportunity to Helen Yang is due, in substantial measure, to the exceptional generosity of Jay (ILR ’68, Law ’71) and Harriet Waks." A grant from the Waks Family Fund is offsetting travel expenses.
Expressing deep gratitude for the opportunity, Helen says, “This is my first opportunity to experience Beijing. Though I feel nervous, I also cannot wait to step off the plane and see China for myself. The material that I read in available news and literature, see in movies and on the television, will soon come to life. This will be quite an adventure for a newly-minted twenty-one year-old! I wish to thank Professor Daniel, Brigid Beachler, the International Labour Organisation professionals, ILR International Programs, and the Waks family for making this unprecedented opportunity a reality. Only with your dedication and hard work could the ILR Credit Internship Program and the Waks Family Fund send an ILR student who has never set foot in China to do an internship there with the ILO.”
ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, will host eleven ILR credit interns during the Spring ’06 semester. Learn more about the ILR School’s global partnership with the ILO.