Human Rights Internships in Africa

Looking to gain some work experience in the human rights field? We’re excited to offer a diverse range of inspiring internships with social and humanitarian charities in South Africa. These internships focus on a wide range of social development issues, including female empowerment, skill development, refugee issues, human rights, and human resources.

Though applications are open to anyone, these internships are particularly suitable for students of sociology, psychology, international development, human rights law, international law, or related fields. As an intern, you’ll gain valuable work experience at a grassroots level – and you’ll get to spend some time in the incredibly vibrant and stunning city of Cape Town!

You can find an overview of our human rights internships in Africa below, or you can get in touch if you have questions or would like to apply!

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship

Open for applications

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship with NGO

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship with NGO

20-26 weeks

Cape Town, South Africa

Human rights, refugee law and migration issues

Gain valuable legal experience while offering refugees in Cape Town support and advice.

Communications Internship

Open for applications

Communications Internship with NGO

Communications Internship with NGO

12-26 weeks

Cape Town, South Africa

Communications, social media, digital marketing, writing

Manage and develop communication channels for a refugee-focused nonprofit.

Female Empowerment Internship

Open for applications

Female Empowerment Internship with NGO

Female Empowerment Internship with NGO

Min. 5 months

Cape Town, South Africa

Business development, communication, coordination

Gain work experience while supporting female refugees through skill development workshops.

human rights internship


If you’re thinking about a career in the human rights sector, an internship in Africa is a great way to start. Gender-based violence is rampant throughout Africa with some of the highest rape and assault statistics in the world. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than 26% of the world’s refugee population. Our human rights internships seek to tackle these important issues, and your contribution to these organizations would be much appreciated. These are smaller organizations so you will be able to see your impact in these communities and in these people. Secondarily, you will be getting the opportunity to take a hands-on approach that many other young people going into the human rights sector might not get. Your international travel experience will undoubtedly stand out, as employees in human rights need to be culturally sensitive to people of all walks of life. You will also be able to explore this career path and see if this is something you would like to do long-term. At Roots, we’re dedicated and creating the perfect balance between meaningful work and practical work experience, so that you can get the most out of your internship.


How experienced do I need to be to join a human rights internship?

It depends on the specific internship program; some require more experience than others, some require less. Whichever internship you choose, we’ll make sure you are the right candidate for the internship, and vice versa! We are happy to work with you to find the ideal match, or get in touch with us at if you have a particular interest and/or skillset.

What can I expect to learn as a human rights intern?

Be prepared to learn a lot! No matter which internship you choose, you’ll have the pleasure of working with a reputable organization that has years’ worth of experience in human rights. The more you are willing to take on, the more you will learn! And the learning doesn’t stop there; as an intern working for an organization based in Africa, you’ll also get a chance to learn about a whole new country and culture. The possibilities are endless!

How will an human rights internship help my career?

As a human rights intern you will see how a nonprofit organization is run up close and personal. You will work alongside fellow interns who are new to the career like you and professionals who have been in the human rights sector for years. Each organization we partner with has a wealth of resources that are available to their interns. Besides gaining experience in human rights, you’ll also be gaining international work experience, resume and cover letter content, and exposure to a new culture. This is a bonus that comes along with choosing Roots Interns!

Why is Africa a great destination for a nonprofit human rights internship?

There are a million reasons we could list here, but for now, we’ll just mention some of the top ones. Africa is a very large and diverse continent. Besides the valuable learning experience you’ll get from doing an human rights internship abroad, you’ll also gain knowledge that you otherwise wouldn’t if you were to do an internship in your own city or country. That’s something that not many people can put on their resumes! Africa in particular is a great destination for nonprofit internships because of the opportunities that are available on the continent. There are many nonprofit organizations and NGOs in Africa that are doing great work in human rights, and making a notable difference in communities and people’s lives. We at Roots Interns are proud of the organizations that we partner with, and the list of internships we have on offer.

Besides the valuable learning experience you’ll gain and the exceptional impact you will make on people’s lives, there’s the obvious reason that Africa is an exciting continent full of breathtaking landscapes, exotic animals, and bucket list-worthy travel destinations! Who wouldn’t want to combine a work experience with the trip of a lifetime?!