Etelle Higonnet

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Etelle Higonnet "is working in Iraq as Analysis Director with the Iraq History Project, a large-scale human rights documentation initiative that has gathered more than 7,000 testimonies from victims of rights violations around the country. Prior to moving to Iraq, Etelle served as a consultant to UNICEF in New York and produced a documentary film on sexual violence in Cote d'Ivoire. From 2006 to 2007, Etelle spent her fellowship year with Human Rights Watch in and around the Ivory Coast documenting sexual violence in the current civil war. Etelle investigated patterns of sexual violence experienced by women across Côte d'Ivoire, including rebel and government-held territories, as well as throughout Liberia, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Her research was published in several reports and smaller pieces, most notably “My Heart is Cut”: Sexual Violence by Rebels and Pro-Government Forces in Côte d'Ivoire. Etelle organized advocacy campaigns around her findings in cooperation with local and international partners, focusing on pushing for accountability mechanisms.

"Etelle graduated from Yale University in 2000 and Yale Law School in 2005. Following her graduation from the Law School, she became the Senior Research Fellow and General Project Coordinator at the International Human Rights Law Institute. She has four publications pending on transitional justice issues. While at the Law School, she worked on the Yale Journal of International Law and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, organized numerous talks on international human rights issues, and represented individuals seeking asylum in the United States in the Immigration Clinic. During law school, Etelle was also a consultant for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, drafting a strategic plan for a documentation system based on the work of the Yale-affiliated Documentation Center of Cambodia. She consulted for the Royal Cambodian Government Task Force for the Extraordinary Chambers, which has spearheaded the government’s creation of a war crimes tribunal for the Khmer Rouge, and interned at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Etelle worked as a summer associate in the New York and Paris offices of Sullivan & Cromwell. Prior to law school, Etelle was the Africa Associate at Human Rights Watch and worked for a human rights NGO in Senegal, running the organization's ten field offices." [1]

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  1. Fellows, Yale Law School, accessed August 6, 2009.