Job Description
Job Title Spring 2014 Internship - Human Rights Defender Program
Job ID 752293
Begin Date 9/27/13
Location Washington,  DC 20005
Other Location United States
Description Human Rights First is a dynamic, U.S.-based advocacy organization that has worked for over thirty years to leverage U.S. law, policy, and influence to promote human rights around the world.

Human Rights First has a reputation for pragmatic, results-oriented advocacy that is politically astute, grounded in facts, and driven by sophisticated legal and policy analysis. We focus our efforts not on making a point, but on making a difference. We know from experience that human rights progress is more durable when diverse partners work together to bring about change, so we build strategic, non-partisan alliances to support our objectives. We pride ourselves on this practical, inclusive approach. It works.

Human Rights First values high quality work product, a collaborative and supportive work environment, respect for diverse viewpoints, creative approaches to problem solving, flexibility and adaptability of skills, accountability for results, and commitment to lasting change.

Human Rights First welcomes graduate and law students to apply for an internship in our Human Rights Defender Program.  We are seeking to fill two internship positions for the Spring 2014 semester, beginning in January 2014.
The Human Rights Defender Program advocates for policies and practices by the U.S. government and international community that would protect and promote human rights defenders and their work.  Our current target countries include Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, and China.  Within each country, we maintain a narrow focus on reforms of a few central policies and practices and leverage our expertise and contacts in those countries to promote the role of defenders in U.S. foreign policy and U.N. mechanisms.
For all internship positions, we are looking for students who are currently enrolled in graduate or law school and have a strong interest in and commitment to human rights.  Interns will be based in HRF’s Washington office.  During the fall semester, interns will be expected to work at least 20 hours per week.  The internships will run for a 10-12 week period.  All internships are unpaid. Interns will be responsible for securing their own funding or arranging to receive course credit at their schools if they so desire.

  • Legal, policy and factual research on issues related to human rights defenders worldwide, NGO practices, country conditions and monitoring, U.S. policy and infrastructure in countries of interest, etc.
  • Represent Human Rights First at various NGO-government liaison meetings and take detailed notes for HRF staff, as needed; 
  • Assist staff with written and oral correspondence with local and international human rights defenders, partner NGOs, and government offices; 
  • Manage and contribute to Human Rights Defender Program Twitter account;
  • Administrative and other tasks as needed.
EDUCATION:  Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably pursuing a graduate or law degree, but not required.

START DATE:  January 2014
TIME COMMITMENT:   Minimum 20 hours per week, for at least 10 – 12 weeks
SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  November 15, 2013Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 


Please complete the online application found at our website under ABOUT US / JOB OPPORTUNITIES links.

You will be requested to provide:
  • Resume (upload)
  • Cover letter (secondary upload*)
  • Writing sample (secondary upload*)
  • Names and contact details for two (2) references (enter online)
* After completing the initial application and uploading your resume, please select VIEW PROFILE and UPLOAD ATTACHMENT to upload additional documents.  You can also log into your profile from the top of the Job Opportunities page.  When logged into your profile, you can upload cover letter, writing sample, and any other relevant documents by selecting UPLOAD ATTACHMENT at the top of the page. 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email with their username and password once they’ve created a profile.  Please keep this information to access your application and make changes at any time.

Only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews.  NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We build respect for human rights and the rule of law to help ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny, and violence.

Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff across all programs and departments from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTI people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.
Required Skills •Demonstrated interest in human rights issues;

•Excellent communication skills;

•Excellent writing, editing and research skills;

•Ability to handle several tasks at once while working independently or as a member of a team;

•Sense of humor;

•Fluency in Arabic, preferred.
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