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The Meet the Court initiative of the Public Affairs Section is an attempt to give more insight to the inner workings of the ECCC, by interviewing some of the staff members working behind the scenes.
Human Resources Assistant Ms. Lourdes Vano had humble beginnings back in her home country, the Philippines. Now she helps in recruiting the best talents to work here at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
1. What do you currently do here at the ECCC and for how long have you been working here?
I am currently working as a Human Resources Assistant here at the tribunal. I have been a UNAKRT employee for more than eight (8) years now. My initial appointment was in the Security and Safety Section as a Security Officer (Warden Officer). I was eventually given an opportunity to move to the Human Resources Management Section (HRMS) in August 2013 to assist in the staff administration of benefits and entitlement. I am also the UNAKRT Internship Coordinator here at the ECCC, and this role provides me with an opportunity to assist the Internship Focal Point in each office of the court in selecting their respective interns.
2. What is your academic and professional background?
Here is an interesting fact about me: I am actually a Midwife by profession! I enjoy learning new things and challenging myself so I am currently pursuing another Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Major in Human Resources and Management, through the Open Universities in Australia via Griffith University. I am also a former member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines where I served in various positions under the Philippine Army for more than fourteen (14) years. It was not until February 2004 that my UN career began at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. I eventually received the opportunity to move to UNAKRT in September 2007.
3. What are your general work responsibilities as a Human Resources Assistant?
I have been assisting the HRMS in staff administration and recruitment since 2009. I am responsible for reviewing the staff member’s queries on their entitlements and benefits and other related matters. I also assist the hiring manager in selecting the most qualified candidates for any vacant post, provide advice to clients on a wide range of human resource procedures and interpretation of staff rules, and brief new staff members, consultants and interns regarding various organisational policies.
4. What makes you fulfilled in the work that you do?
I find it very rewarding whenever I get to address my clients’ human resource and administrative needs in the most efficient way possible. The requests that I receive from each staff member here at the tribunal provide different challenges, so I like the fact that I get to develop my analytical skills and assist my clients with the highest level of professionalism.
I also find it satisfying whenever I see the arrival of new staff members and interns from all corners of the world here at the tribunal. I am happy to see them slowly getting settled into their respective sections as this is crucial for them to fulfill their respective roles excellently. Overall, I consider it a bonus whenever I receive positive feedback from my clients for the quality of my work and whenever I am given a chance to share my expertise to the entire team. The trust and encouragement that I receive from my supervisors and colleagues just make me feel that my work here at the court truly matters.
5. How does your role help the court in fulfilling its mandate?
Working at the ECCC motivates me to work harder knowing that I am contributing my knowledge and skills to help the court in achieving justice, truth and national reconciliation for the Cambodian society. I get to work in a team that helps in getting the most outstanding legal professionals and interns from all over the world who are fully competent in helping the court to fulfill its mandate.
6. What other things do you like about working here at the ECCC?
I would definitely say the people! The working environment here at the ECCC is just so friendly because of the presence of supportive colleagues from all over the world. I get to know interesting stories from different people whose insights truly enrich my life. As the Internship Coordinator, I get to benefit from the enthusiasm and drive of the young professionals that I meet. I also like the fact that this tribunal is located in Cambodia, a country that has been my second home for almost close to a decade now. This country is just so culturally rich and the people here are incredibly warm that I feel so blessed living here.