An advocate for victims of human trafficking
A year after earning her master of human rights degree from the University of Minnesota, Andrea Martinez is putting her experience to good use, assisting survivors of human trafficking in her position as a legal case manager at the Minneapolis-based Advocates for Human Rights.
She screens potential clients (survivors of human trafficking), and if the organization has the capacity and resources to take the case, she assists in the file preparation for placement with volunteer attorneys.
"The experience has been fulfilling, but in the beginning it was emotionally exhausting, in a good way," she says. "It is hard listening to people’s stories about how they have been exploited and abused, but also it is rewarding to do as much as you can to assist them."
A native of Mexico City, Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics in Mexico City.
While she was a student, Martinez was a research assistant in the University's Human Rights Organizations Project, and was a recipient of the Joseph E. Schwartzberg Workable World Trust Fellowship, which supports students who are committed to global governance.
“I appreciate the opportunity I had to hear about human rights conditions in other countries from smart and talented people who were also part of the program,” she says. “This experience humbled me and made my perspective on human rights issues broader.”
The Master of Human Rights program is jointly supported by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the College of Liberal Arts.