Established in 2004, the Arthur C. Helton Fellowship Program recognizes the legacy of Arthur Helton, a prominent human rights advocate and ASIL member. Helton died in the August 19, 2003 bombing of the UN mission in Baghdad.
Funded by contributions from ASIL members, interest groups, and private foundations, Helton Fellowships provide financial assistance in the form of "micro-grants" for law students and young professionals to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas.
"In addition to all the insights I gained regarding the legal and social context of sexual violence in Kenya, I have also walked away with a newfound enthusiasm for public interest litigation as a future career path…. [A] defining moment took place while I was in a litigation strategy meeting with top female lawyers and human rights activists working on [a sexual violence] case. As I experienced the passion and determination of these women, I felt a deep conviction that I could do this kind of work for the rest of my life."
Sasha Hart, McGill University School of Law, 2011 Helton Fellow, working with The Equality Effect, Kenya.
Alex Lewis, a 2011 Helton Fellow from Rutgers University-Newark, worked at a children’s home called Akany Avoko in Madagascar
Since its founding the Helton Fellowship Program has supported more than 80 young lawyers pursue projects on four continents, expanding the capacity of dozens of international and non-governmental organizations.
Fellows undertake their projects in association with an established educational institution, international organization, governmental agency, or non-governmental organization working in areas related to international law, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. ASIL does not assist in securing organizational sponsorship for Fellows. In acknowledgement of Arthur Helton’s commitment to human rights and humanitarian affairs in the field, preferential consideration may be given to applications demonstrating a significant fieldwork component as well as those involving the human rights of refugees, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations. Applications for fieldwork in the area of international criminal law and international humanitarian law are also encouraged.
Carina Roselli, 2013 Helton Fellow at Nature Iraq in the Kurdish region of Iraq
Helton Fellowship micro-grants are intended to ensure that these individuals have access to modest amounts of funding that can often stand between them and their first professional opportunities to become effective practitioners, experts, and scholars of international law. The fellowships are intended to help cover for travel, housing, living expenses, and other costs related to the Fellow’s fieldwork and research.