Christian Gonzalez, a human rights lawyer from Guatemala and 2013 graduate of the Center for Civil and Human Rights LL.M. program in International Human Rights Law, has been awarded a fellowship by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. Mr. Gonzalez will serve as a lawyer for the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders. The Rapporteurship provides support in the specialized analysis of petitions presented to the Inter-American Commission regarding alleged violations of the human rights of human rights defenders and of those who have a role in the justice system.
Mr. Gonzalez views this opportunity with the Washington D.C.-based institution as a way to strengthen the position of human rights workers. “Given the widespread patterns of violations against those who work in the defense of human rights in the region, I would like to support the work of the IACHR,” he says. “My dream is to help raise the legal standards of protection for human rights defenders at both the local and the international level.”
Mr. González obtained his law degree (with honors) in 2010 from Universidad Rafael Landivar Law School in Guatemala. He has worked as a consultant in several NGO´s to promote access to justice in rural native communities in Guatemala, and as Vice-President and Co-founder of EXCLAMA (NGO) he has directed projects geared towards sustainable development in rural communities.