Challenge yourself, work on your personal development, learn from dedicated and passionate colleagues and assist an inspirational organisation in their work towards social justice and the promotion of human rights. Our human rights internships give you the chance to make a genuine difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of South African society whilst gaining a valuable insight into what daily life working for NGOs or advocacy organisations is really like.ENQUIRE NOW
The best human rights internships in Cape Town?
We think so. We pride ourselves on delivering customised internship placements and on the ground support that offer life-changing, valuable professional experiences. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, one of the fundamental aspects of South Africa’s constitution has been the defence of every individual’s Human Rights. However, despite this, the country still faces huge social and economic challenges, and in Cape Town there are a large number of government and non-government organisations attempting to address these issues and promote social equality.
Our programme provides interns with the opportunity to assist some truly inspiring organisations with their work towards social justice and the promotion of Human Rights. Opportunities in this field could include working with refugees, the prevention of human trafficking and child labour, the advocacy of women’s rights, youth empowerment and HIV/AIDS prevention and education. An internship in this field will not only contribute to your own personal development and increase your cultural awareness, but it will give you the chance to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of society. Read on for a full overview of the best human rights internships in Africa.
Here's what you can expect from the programme in a nutshell!
Of course, the list is much longer - but these are the skills our intern alumni reported back that they grew in the most!
What are you waiting for - get started now!ENQUIRE NOW
We managed to grab some detailed interviews from previous interns on this programme, you can click on them below.
I think even from when I first arrived you guys were so sweet. You met me with water and a sandwich, which seems like such a small thing but was just what I needed after a long flight. Little touches like that are really special. Also taking me to my first day and making sure I know where to go, little thoughtful details like that are what makes you guys such a great organization. Also knowing if anything happened you guys would be there.
What might your programme in this career field look like? Here's how it has typically shaped up for our alumni!
Arrival & orientation. Introduction to Cape Town, your accommodation and your internship host organisation and colleagues.
Get stuck into your human rights internship placement and establish yourself with your organisation. Come to our free social events.
Enjoy a great work-life balance, getting out and about to see the sites alongside working hard on your internship.
Pick up more responsibility in your internship as you prove your capability. Enjoy regular activities in Cape Town outside of work. Come to another social!
Now you're flying (metaphorically) at work, you'll be more and more autonomous. Expect to pick up even more challenges!
Internship is going swimmingly, now go and do something crazy like swimming with some great white sharks or abseiling off of a mountain.
Regularly enjoy the benefits of Cape Town and at work, gather materials needed for portfolio (e.g. references from us and provider).
Putting the finishing touches to your internship and gathering feedback from us and your internship provider for use in your academic / career portfolio. Finalise paperwork for university (if needed)
Here's what others said when they applied. Some of these people came just for this career area, some mixed it with other career fields too...
I am an MSc Health Psychology student at UCL. I am currently conducting research regarding COVID-19 with a focus on LMICs as a member of RREAL. I aspire to work for organisations such as MSF, WHO, UK-PHRN, etc. All of which require 1-2 years front-line experience. I have experience working as an advance mental health volunteer in remote areas of Sri Lanka for 2 months and am looking to build on this experience in a way in which would fulfil the criteria of the aforementioned organisations.
I've recently finished my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Edinburgh. During my degree I became interested in studying international development and social history. I'm very passionate about a career in this sort of area that allows me to work within communities. Gaining experience abroad would be incredibly insightful and interesting as I am keen to develop my skills in writing, communication, team-building as well as gaining exposure to a different environment and cultures.
Being originally from Cape Town has made me aware of the obstacles that stand in our path to become a progressive human rights culture. I believe this internship will provide me with first-hand knowledge and experience about the social inequalities, violence, corruption and high unemployment rate that plague our beautiful country. I believe the theoretical knowledge I have acquired at the University of Groningen through my International Relations Master program will offer new insights to issues and use it to build creative ideas. I am largely specialized and interested in illicit trade, drug and human trafficking, community management and corruption.
I hope to continue my passion for travel and service through a program in Bridging Gaps. I am interested in helping women and working to improve humans rights.
I hope to learn crucial skills in regard to program development, implementation, and maintenance. I would love to do HIV/AIDS relief work.
I hope to gain some first hand experience of human rights cases in the legal sector, as this is the area of law in which I wish to pursue a career.
I hope to gain valuable insight into human rights work, taking the theory I have learnt at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and applying it in the real world.
I hope to gain work experience
I hope to gain an invaluable experience living abroad while learning hands-on about the politics and policy of Cape Town. I want to work in government and politics in the US after I graduate next year, and I am looking for a short term (3-4 weeks) opportunity at the beginning of this summer to kickstart my career abroad.
I wish to know more about the trend setters of the world intimately studying the policy making process. I also wish to gain acumen in my domain as I've been fascinated with world history politics since
What makes our internship programmes a worthwhile investment? Here's a swift overview of what you can expect!
We have two primary programmes to suit your needs. In some instances we also offer virtual placements.
You can come for as long as you need without paying any extra fees.You'll receive the same level of support.
We are 100% on your side. We guarantee every aspect of your trip with unrivalled promises.
Need to focus on a precise niche or two? No problem! Your programme can focus on your specialist areas.
We'll help you engage with the culture and personal benefits of being in a foreign country.
Save on travel and accommodation costs, pay a far lower fee. All while building your professional network.
We will handle all aspects of academic accreditation, including direct liaison with your tutors and academic staff.
We will write full reference letters for your placement(s) to optimise future employers' first impression of you.
Here are some current or recent internship job opportunities in this career area. We do not publish all openings - so please contact us to hear about others.
A strong interest in and some academic background in human rights, law and policy, politics or sociology Fluent in English with excellent communication skills Confident speaker Organised and independent worker
Excellent communication skills Previous research experience would be beneficial Confident speaking on the phone Creative thinker
Get in touch.
We have worked very hard to streamline our process to make your experience easy, fun and highly rewarding personally and professionally. Flick through the steps below, or read about our process in more detail.
Getting your dream internship all starts with you saying hello! Just pop your details into our enquiry form and we'll reach out to schedule a conversation with you that we call a 'discovery call'.
In your discovery call, you can ask us any questions you still have. We'll talk about your options in the career fields you've told us you're interested in to help you imagine your placement and decide if our service is right for you.
If everything sounds good to you, complete your application to put into words your dream programme. This forms the basis of the 'design' of your customised placement and will be the primary framework against which we validate potentially suitable opportunities.
We maintain a large and varied network of the best organisations in Cape Town. We will identify the best potential fits for your programme goals and preferences and reach out on your behalf to assess those organisations for suitability (learn about their current projects and initiatives).
Once you've confirmed which placement offer you prefer, we'll start helping you plan the rest of your trip. We'll book your accommodation, help with your travel arrangements and provide extensive advice and information on how to get ready for your time in Cape Town. Your Bridging Gaps mentor will be on hand to make sure you're fully prepared for your placement.
Finally, every member of our team will move mountains to make sure you get what you came for and MORE! It's essential to us that you're safe, you're learning and growing in confidence and developing the most important skills for your future career.
Our programme fees are shown below, for a full description of our service offering please click to view the programme or a side-to-side comparison.
Backed by 4
Visa & travel assist
Social events & excursions
... and lots more
We've answered some specific questions about this internship programme below.
The first requirement for entering the international law field is to be certified as a lawyer through the BAR exam. You would typically need a masters of law (LLM) as well.
Passion for your work is first and foremost an essential part of breaking into the human rights industry. Many roles will have a minimum requirement of a bachelor's degree in human rights, international relations, anthropology, history, social work or related disciplines. Having some work experience can be hugely beneficial when looking for jobs in this field.
A degree within the human rights sector could give you the opportunity to pursue a career in one of the following fields. A human rights lawyer and legal worker, monitoring and evaluation officer, corporate responsibility officer, policy specialist, human rights educator, embassy worker, ambassador, mediator or diplomat.
Research internships often entail a lot of independent work, although asking questions, being proactive, and making the most of your resources are key to a successful research internship. Medical internships or those in the field of biology are often heavily focused on research and interns will either be asked to complete their own project or contribute to ongoing research. These types of internships will also involve laboratory work. Research is also often integral to internships in human rights, law and public policy.
We collaborate with a wide range of human rights organisations and NGO's here in Cape Town that focus on the promotion of women's rights, equal access to education, HIV/AIDS prevents and education, anti-trafficking, refugee rights, youth development, LGBT rights, improved healthcare, social justice and economic development.
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