Doctor of Philosophy candidate
She has always been passionate about human rights law, says Supriti Singh who came to AUT as an international student from India and is currently completing her PhD in this field.
“The social justice aspect of the law has always caught my interest. After I completed my master’s degree, I knew that human rights law was an area I wanted to study and research further. The decision to undertake a PhD was a result of wanting to further my knowledge in this specific area of law. Eventually I’d like to start practising with an organisation that aims to promote and protect human rights to all individuals.”
For her PhD Supriti is investigating the Special Procedures mechanisms of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council; independent experts whose primary function is the promotion, protection and monitoring of the state parties’ compliance of human rights.
“It’s my understanding that while progress has been made in the promotion of human rights, the protection or practical and effective remedies to realise these rights is lacking.
“Through my research, I hope to highlight the mechanisms of the Special Procedures as an avenue to effectively not only promote but also protect human rights. I’m hoping that my research not only advances academic knowledge but also highlights a mechanism that has the potential to make rights practical and effective.”
The support to thrive
She has had many highlights throughout her studies, says Supriti whose studies are supported by the Association for the Advance of Scholarship in Canada.
“I would definitely recommend this degree to others. I’ve thoroughly benefited from the supervision provided by my supervisor, Professor Kris Gledhill. There are good resources to help you accomplish your research goals, and as an international student I’ve also been lucky to have the support of the staff from the international students’ office.”
What Supriti has enjoyed most about her time at AUT is getting to meet fellow students and forming bonds that extend beyond the classroom.
“The atmosphere at AUT is conducive not only to furthering academic study but also a sense of belonging among students. The student support is a lot greater than what I’ve experienced at my past university, and I’m very thankful to have a supervisor who genuinely understands the struggles that come with a degree of this calibre.”
Advice for other students
Expecting to complete her PhD in 2022, Supriti has some great advice for other students.
“Take the time to meet your peers. Your journey as a postgraduate student will not be easy – there will be a lot of highs and lows but when the going gets tough you will have people who understand what you’re going through and who will have your back.”
Ask for help if you need it, she adds.
“On the days when you need help, reach out to someone as there’s always someone around who you can talk to about things.”