“I especially liked how I got the chance to sit in and listen to the firsthand recounting of the refugees and migrants, as it adds an emotional aspect to the entire thing, and is vastly different from just seeing the interview results on paper. Personally, I feel that this type of work has somewhat of an emotional emphasis, with passion and drive being what fuels this type of organization in the long run. This experience with the interviews simply reinforced this point for me.”- Summer-18 Internship with CrCF
I first entered this internship with absolutely no idea of what to expect. At that point in time, I had never heard of the CrCF and did not know what they do, apart from the info on their Facebook page. That said, it has been a very enlightening experience, to say the least. The main thing that I have noticed in my time at the CrCF is that, though I am unsure if this is the norm or not, they are very active on the field. While there is a good amount of office work, more often than not there will be someone working under CrCF on the field. There is constantly a team or group of people doing some fieldwork onsite at somewhere of interest, whether that be witnessing some court proceedings or interviewing victims of unjust treatment.
Over the course of this two month internship, I have joined and participated in a number of fieldwork trips. Initially, on the second week I joined a trip to Chaiyaphum to watch some court proceedings for some cases related to land and trespassing. This spanned a total of a week, and was a good experience for me, since I had never been to an actual court before in Thailand. While a bit daunting at first, considering I am far from the most knowledgeable person in terms of legal documents and vocabulary, I found the experience overall very enlightening. The actual contents of the cases which I witnessed was also relatively intriguing as well. The cases which the CrCF concerns itself with are mainly human rights violations cases in one way or another, which I feel is important and relevant to what I study as well.
Later on, I also went on another trip which concerned attending court cases at Prachinburi and then Hua Hin, which were similar in style to the first trip to Chaiyaphum, but the particular cases which I saw on this second trip was more focused on torture and a more direct form of human rights advocacy. This was also an interesting experience, since we got to talk to the actual victims of the treatment in person as well, giving more insight and perspective to the case, and making it seem more realistic.
What really sparked my interest however, in terms of relevancy to my studies and passion, was when I got the opportunity to participate in a trip to interview refugees and migrants who suffered unjust treatment when they are detained by officials. While the main reason was due to the fact that there was no legal terms and events which I had to keep track off and be confused by (unlike the previous two trips, which had heavy emphasis on laws and court), the actual interviews with the refugees themselves were more along the lines of what I initially expected fieldwork in an NGO to be like. As a result, I found this activity to be very eye opening and something of a reality check for me, which is exactly what I wanted out of this internship. I especially liked how I got the chance to sit in and listen to the firsthand recounting of the refugees and migrants, as it adds an emotional aspect to the entire thing, and is vastly different from just seeing the interview results on paper. Personally, I feel that this type of work has somewhat of an emotional emphasis, with passion and drive being what fuels this type of organization in the long run. This experience with the interviews simply reinforced this point for me.
Overall my experience at the CrCF was a very pleasant one. The organization does good work, has good goals, and consists of good people. What else is there to say? This was my first ever proper internship experience, and I am glad that I chose to do it here.