At the very heart-and-soul of South Africa’s Constitution is the promotion of human rights, continuing to combat prejudice, xenophobia, gender inequality, poverty and racism in communities. Embark on a Human Rights Law Internship in South Africa and change your life as you acquire valuable skills in your industry, impact local communities, learn about yourself, experience a new culture, make new friends and embark on many fun and adventures.

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  • Play a part in a dynamic legal environment
  • Work in an internship location that depends on your skills and experience, which can include human rights law firms, HIV/AIDS advocacy NGOs, human rights policy centers, refugee centers, environmental law firms and government organizations
  • Be involved in monitoring legislation, drafting policy papers, affidavits and other legal documents, giving legal advice, assessing human rights claims, conducting research, meeting with clients and attending court cases
  • Work directly within the communities you serve as many of our best Cape Town law internship offerings are located at small grassroots NGOs that are based in the townships (low-income areas of the city). Here your daily work responsibilities will have a tangible impact upon the communities you are serving

Cape Town’s colourful and vibrant atmosphere will get your journey off to an exciting start as you experience the tasty and diverse cuisine, rich culture and unbeatable scenery. As you work and travel in Africa you will be located in the popular area of Cape Town called Observatory, only 7km from the centre of the city. This suburb town has a unique bohemian atmosphere providing trendy restaurants, lively bars and live music performances. Your accommodation is centrally located to the shops, restaurants and public transport.

The general atmosphere of the program housing is friendly and social. You will be sharing shower and toilet facilities, however will have your own, private, lockable and furnished room. All interns will also have the use of a lounge area with DSTV [cable television] for relaxation. Meals can be provided at an extra cost, should you prefer not to cater for your own meals.

During your stay you will build meaningful relationships and gain valuable insights into the complexities of both poverty and social development. You will gain new perspectives and an appreciation for your own luxuries and come to realise how strong you really are, doing things you never imagined you would have the chance to do.

Placement – SAHRC:

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is a government-funded organization that is entrusted with monitoring the human rights of South Africans. While South Africa features the world’s most liberal constitution, it is the responsibility of an organization like the SAHRC to ensure that South Africans’ constitutional rights are being protected in practice.

As an intern at SAHRC, you will monitor legislation as it pertains to the interest of the SAHRC by making regular trips to the South African Parliament. You will also have the opportunity to draft policy papers on behalf of the SAHRC (provided that you have earned the trust of the stuff). While working as an assistant to the human rights lawyers, you will be responsible for assessing the authenticity of each claim and identify the cases that are worth pursuing in the equality courts. This will involve direct interaction with South Africans who wish to make a human rights claims, so it is important that you have prior experience interacting with members of the public ina service role( e.g. customer service, volunteer work).

Placement – Scheibert & Associates:

Scheibert & Associates, provides professional and comprehensive services in a wide variety of legal fields, including international and local tax and estate planning, private international law, immigration law, criminal law, company and property law, insurance and general litigation and the rendering of advice on all legal matters concerning the corporate and individual client in South Africa and abroad.

As an intern with Scheibert & Associates, you will have the opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of legal fields, which is invaluable experience for anyone studying or considering a career in law. The firm makes use of the latest computer and IT technology and has extensive connections abroad.

Placement – Women’s Legal Center:

The Women’s Legal Center (WLC) is a non-profit, independently funded law center established to promote the cause of women’s rights in South Africa. The Center strives for a vision of women in South Africa, free from violence, empowered to ensure their own reproductive and health rights, free to own share of property, having a safe place to stay, and empowered to work in an equal environment.

The WLC does litigation work in the areas of gender-based violence, relationship rights, land and housing, labor and health.

As an inter, you will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the WLC’s day-to-day work. This may include doing research, meeting with clients, assisting with the writing of affidavits, legal submissions, briefs, and policy papers, as well as attending court cases.

Placement – Nature Justice:

Natural Justice is a non-profit organization with three main objectives that align with those of the Convention on Biological Diversity, namely: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of the environment; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of natural resources. To carry out its aims, the organization works at community, national, and international levels.

During your human rights internship you will work on a range of projects related to the field of environmental, law, advocacy, research, and policy making. Work will be exciting and varied, and will involve hands-on legal work in addition to some fieldwork in local communities. You will gain a good sense of how laws and policies made at the national and international levels have an impact within local communities.


Cape Town has many iconic sites which makes for great photograph opportunities. Take a boat trip to Seal Island, visit the celebrated Robben Island and stand on the top of the world-renowned Table Mountain, reaching it either by foot or cable car. A convenient and fun way to see more of what the city has to offer is to take the Hop-on, Hop-off City Tour bus. You will also have a chance to do some shopping and enjoy fine dining at the V&A Waterfront or at one of the many local food markets.

Adventure Activities:

You can hike up the magnificent Table Mountain, or take the cable car to the top. Once you have soaked in the breath-taking view, you can choose to abseil your way down. Surfing lessons, shark cage diving and sky-diving are also on many tourists bucket list, and Cape Town’s mountain ranges make for great mountain-biking too.

Beach and Sea Adventures:

Although the water may be just a little cold, Cape Town has plenty of beautiful beaches to visit, each with its own unique atmosphere. If you are really keen to explore the waters you can dive with the sharks or take a tour to Cape Town Point Peninsula where you will have a chance to swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach.


Cape Town has something for everyone. If you are not really a city slicker and prefer to discover what nature has to offer, you can experience an African Safari at Aquila Safari – a “Big 5” private game reserve with animals such as the lion and African elephant.

The Cape Point at the tip of the Cape Peninsula lies within a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park which is a World Heritage Site. Cape Point is a nature enthusiast’s paradise with many buck, baboons, Cape Mountain Zebras, birds and variety of flora and fauna unique to the area.

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