Astrid Lello Hald manages and coordinates projects and works with administration for us.
She has, among other things, lived in Belarus, which is ruled with an iron fist by Alexander Lukashenko. We have supported Belarusian activists for decades. As part of her master thesis, Astrid examined human rights violations, in the field of academic freedom in the country.
«The academic freedom is very limited by the regime, which for years has operated with an anti-Western policy.»
The absence of academic freedom means that the opposition’s opinions are not only regarded as wrong, but also as something immoral and dangerous. In such circumstances, education is characterized by the absence of free discussion and dialogue, and tends to be ideologically limited.
«Professors teaching at universities can choose to ignore the state’s strict guidelines for teaching, but this can lead to conflicts. Such conflicts can again lead to job losses.»
Neighboring Russia also makes it bad for human rights. To get better acquainted with Russia, Astrid took a 900-kilometer-long drive from Moscow to Kazan. «Overall, we were met by very helpful. It was a wonderful meeting with some of the world’s most hospitable people.»
Astrid holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA), Bachelor in Russian Studies and came to us in 2017.
«I have never dreamt of a specific job, but I have always known that I wanted to help people. It is incredibly rewarding to work with some of Norway’s leading human rights experts.»