Are you an ambitious human rights student ready to turbo-charge your career?
Set yourself apart from your peers with our value-packed human rights internship programmes.
Programme Rating / Reviews
Our internship programmes are rated 9.5/10 overall based on 37 recent reviews.
Recent Programme Reviews (all subject areas)
My internship with CTEET was fantastic! I loved being a part of the project. The people I met were so welcoming and friendly.
Bridging Gaps were so helpful with advice before departure and upon arriving in Cape Town. Throughout my internship they continuously checked that I was happy and enjoying it. Very grateful to them for making my experience so great.
The best Human Rights internships in Cape Town?
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.
What Our Internship Clients Say
“I considered other placement companies but Bridging Gaps was the only company that not only listened, but sincerely cared about finding me the perfect internship and they succeeded! I absolutely LOVED my internship experience.”
We have written a comprehensive overview of every aspect of choosing an internship in Cape Town. You can download it absolutely free here: DOWNLOAD FREE GUIDE
Free Download: Intern's Guide to Cape Town
We have written a comprehensive overview of every aspect of choosing an internship in Cape Town. You can download it absolutely free here:
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Human Right Internship Key Skills:
- Project management
- Report writing
- Communication and writing skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving
Academic & Career Benefits
- Work alongside and learn from extremely dedicated, passionate and determined people.
- Demonstrate your commitment and passion to future employers.
- Develop valuable skills needed to kick start your career in human rights and advocacy.
- Gain a valuable insight into what daily life working for NGOs or advocacy organisations is really like and discover more about your passions and strengths.
- Challenge yourself and improve your personal development.
Ideal Internship Applicant
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Proficient in English.
- A passion for advocacy and helping others
- A good understanding of South African history and current social inequalities.
- Work alongside and learn from some incredibly dedicated, determined and passionate people.
- Help South Africa in its work towards social equality and reduced poverty.
- Enhance your personal development and cultural awareness.
- Help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of South African society.
- Build an impressive CV and demonstrate to future employers that you are adaptable, motivated and passionate.
- Minimum age: 18
- Completed (or will have completed) A2-Levels or equivalent
- Minimum of 2 weeks duration, no maximum
- Not a resident of South Africa
Discover how your internship will help boost your career prospects.
Key Skills Developed Through Our Human Rights Internship
Interns will learn the importance of being able to negotiate with a variety of parties including government officials, corporate sponsors, community members and other NGO’s. Interns will learn how to be diplomatic and communicate their ideas in a way that people from different backgrounds, with different objectives, can relate to.
Interns will gain an insight into project management and the importance of good leadership, effective communication of goals and ideas, the promotion of teamwork, conflict resolution, delegation and organisation.
Intern’s research skills will be developed through the collection of information from a variety of different sources. They will be required to fact find, analyse data and document human rights abuses.
Interns will learn how to write accurate and unbiased reports and other advocacy documents. Interns will learn the importance of writing comprehensive, clear and relatable reports, documents and policy recommendations.
Communication and writing skills
Intern’s writing skills will be honed through the creation of reports, advocacy documents and fundraising proposals and their verbal communication skills will improve through government meetings, interactions with community members and collaboration with colleagues.
Critical thinking and problem solving
Interns will learn how to identify discrimination in society as well as finding creative and practicable solutions to the problem.
Typical 8 Week Human Rights Internship
Internship Week 1
Arrival & orientation. Introduction to Cape Town, your accommodation and your internship host organisation and colleagues.
Internship Week 2
Get stuck into your human rights internship placement and establish yourself with your organisation. Come to our free social events.
Internship Week 3
Enjoy a great work-life balance, getting out and about to see the sites alongside working hard on your internship.
Internship Week 4
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!
Internship Week 5
Now you’re flying (metaphorically) at work, you’ll be more and more autonomous. Expect to pick up even more challenges!
Internship Week 6
Internship is going swimmingly, now go and do something crazy like swimming with some great white sharks or abseiling off of a mountain.
Internship Week 7
Regularly enjoy the benefits of Cape Town and at work, gather materials needed for portfolio (e.g. references from us and provider).
Internship Week 8
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) and debrief.
Leave a Changed Person
Leave with the satisfaction of having helped a Cape Town human rights organisation, with building experience and lifelong friendships.
Now share it with the world!
* We will endeavor to deliver experiences similar to this to each one of our interns but please note that the work experience you gain will largely depend on your personal proactiveness and the internship organisation that you select.
Human Rights Internships Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my internship last?
All the internships we offer are completely flexible in duration so it is up to you how long you stay in Cape Town for! Some of the companies we collaborate with like to have an intern commit to at least 4 – 6 weeks so the longer you can stay for the better your chances of being offered an internship will be. For human rights internships the ideal length of stay is 3 months.
Is there an age limit for this internship?
The minimum age you have to be to join our programmes is 18. The average age of our Bridging Gaps interns and volunteers is 21-26.
Will I live near my internship organisation?
Yes, we always place interns as near to their organisation as possible. We’ll also make sure you know how to get there efficiently and safely.
What type of NGO or advocacy organisation could I work for?
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.
Is there a chance of being offered a paid position at the end of my internship?
This very much depends on how you perform during your internship and your internship company itself. In the past we have had one or two interns who have been offered permanent positions in their internship organisation so if you make a great impression, this could be you! Many of the companies we work with do not have the resources to be able to employ people in paid positions though so there is no guarantee of this happening.
Discover how your internship will help boost your job prospects.
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