Law and Human Rights Internship

Projects Abroad
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Coordinator | Bethany
Coordinator | Bethany
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Gain work experience in our Projects Abroad Human Rights Office in South Africa. You’ll work with legal and human rights professionals and gain real experience for your CV.
Help by participating in legal clinics and raising awareness of basic human rights in disadvantaged communities.
Depending on the number of interns, you will get to attend court and conduct moot court hearings on one of our ongoing criminal cases
Make use of your English skills and develop them even further
In your free time; take the boat to Robben Island and the cable car up Table Mountain.
Live and work in Cape Town and gain work experience while learning from lawyers and human rights professionals This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples

This internship is ideal for you if you want to add practical law and human rights work experience to your CV, especially if you want to become a lawyer in the future. It’s also a good fit if you’re a law student interested in applying your studies to real-world situations.

You don’t need any previous experience to join this project. Your work will be guided by lawyers and human rights professionals, and they’ll teach you everything you need to know. This is a professional internship, so you need to be punctual, flexible, and prepared to work hard. You also need to have intermediate English skills, and be comfortable with speaking and writing.

Your level of experience does affect what you get involved with. If you have no experience, you’ll focus on social justice work. If you have some legal experience, you’ll get involved with ongoing legal cases and work directly with clients.

This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.

This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.

You will work at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office in Cape Town, alongside experienced lawyers and human rights professionals. Your placement will involve several kinds of tasks:  

  • Host legal clinics for community members who cannot come into the office
  • Assist walk-in clients, conduct research, and draft legal documentation
  • Attend court and conduct moot court hearings
  • Present life skills, awareness, and rehabilitation workshops

Your work will be split up in the following ways:

Attend legal clinics

The Projects Abroad Human Rights Office runs regular legal clinics in disadvantaged communities for those who are unable to visit us in the office. These services are free, and we rely on interns like you to help us reach as many people as possible.

These are the most common issues we work with at legal clinics:

  • Refugee rights
  • Domestic violence
  • Matrimonial matters
  • Labour law
  • Housing matters
  • Human rights violation referrals from the South African Human Rights Commision

Free legal consultations

You will assist with case preparation, handle case work, and write up legal opinions on the cases dealt with at the office and the clinics. You might also produce research reports, or consult with clients.

Moot court hearings

Depending on the number of interns, you will get to attend court and conduct moot court hearings on one of our ongoing criminal cases. This is usually handled by our Legal Services Coordinator.

Presenting social justice workshops

During your internship, you may carry out social justice workshops on specific human rights aspects. This includes running life skills workshops for at-risk women, and preparing educational workshops for juvenile offenders. These workshops take place in different places in Cape Town, mostly in the townships.

Typical day

Each day, after breakfast with your host family, you will make your way to our Human Rights Office using a minibus taxi or train. On your first day, our staff will show you the easiest way to get there. It is also required that you dress professionally, as you will encounter clients visiting the office.

You can expect to work from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Thursday. On Fridays our office is closed to clients due to weekly meetings, and you’ll work from 8.30am to 1pm.

This is what your week will look like if you focus on social justice work:

  • Monday to Wednesday: In the mornings and afternoons, you’ll present workshops designed to teach life skills and raise awareness.
  • Thursday: You’ll attend our social justice debriefing meeting, and spend time preparing workshops for the next week. You’ll do research on different topics, think of activities, and put together a presentation.
  • Friday: Apart from your regular work, you’ll join the PAHRO internal review meeting, where you’ll inform your colleagues about your experiences on the social justice programmes.

If you have some legal knowledge and experience, your week will look like this:

  • Monday to Thursday: Attend legal clinics, meet with walk-in clients at the office, and do legal research. You’ll also draft legal documents. You may also attend the social justice debriefing meetings to learn about what workshops are being presented.
  • Friday: Continue with case work, research and consultations as usual. You’ll also join the internal review meeting. Here, you will be expected to give reports on the progress of your legal cases.

At the end of a working day, or over the weekend, you can explore and relax. Take a trip around the city, meet interns and volunteers from around the world at one of our regular socials, or relax at your host family home.

Free-time activities

Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa has a diverse mix of cultures. Our projects are based in Cape Town, a region filled with an exciting variety of activities to do during your free time.

You can catch a wave at Muizenberg beach or just relax in a seaside restaurant. There’s plenty of local cuisine to try, including delicately spiced Cape Malay curries and the creamy milk tart dessert.

South Africa has a difficult past, which you can learn more about at the District 6 Museum and Robben Island.

For an awe-inspiring experience, you can spend the day getting lost in the towering silos that make up the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Finally, no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain.

We run many different projects in South Africa, so there’s sure to be other volunteers in the country with you. So if you want to travel with a group, you’re sure to find like-minded people who’ll join you on your adventures. 

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Museum/
Opera

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Projects Abroad
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • A cultural awareness course


Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Your arrival airport for our volunteer projects in South Africa will be Cape Town International Airport (CPT). One of our staff members will be waiting for you at the airport, clearly visible with a Projects Abroad sign. Being greeted by a friendly, smiling face is sure to put you at ease during your first moments in South Africa!

This staff member will then take you to your host family. You’ll get to meet the different family members and have some time to settle in and rest.

Depending on where you stay, the drive from the airport to your host family will be between 20 and 40 minutes. The airport is located about a 20-minute drive from our main offices in Cape Town. We’ll cover the cost of your trip to and from the airport, so you can enjoy a stress-free drive watching the sights race by the car window.

Accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Cape Town. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of South Africa and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Your program fee includes three meals a day.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Our Law and Human Rights internship in South Africa runs year round, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. However, please be aware that this project closes over the Christmas and New Year period.

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$2,400
3 weeks
$2,711
4 weeks
$3,023
5 weeks
$3,334
9 weeks
$4,578
17 weeks
$7,068
50 weeks (max. stay)
$17,336
Average fees
$773 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Projects Abroad will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Projects Abroad during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Projects Abroad cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Projects Abroad.

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Law and Human Rights Internship

Live and work in Cape Town and gain work experience while learning from lawyers and human rights professionals

$609/week

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