Is Human Rights work in South Africa for teenagers right for me?
This project is perfect for you if you’re a teenager interested in adding hands-on legal and human rights work experience to your CV. It may even help you decide if this is the right career for you! This is the ideal way to add value to your CV, and see more of the world at the same time.
Besides gaining practical experience in the field, you will also have a chance to raise awareness about human rights issues in South Africa. You’ll share knowledge with local people, and help them understand their basic rights. This will help demonstrate your commitment to using the law to help people in need, which could help your future career.
You don’t need any qualifications or previous experience to take part. You'll work under the supervision of legal and human rights professionals, who will teach you everything you need to know.
This High School Special runs over fixed dates in the summer, and you can pick the dates that best fit your schedule. We have a set itinerary and extra staff support, so you will be safe at all times and will receive plenty of guidance along the way.
What will I do on this internship?
You’ll join a group of interns your age, and work at the Projects Abroad Human Right Office in Cape Town and in local communities. These are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in:
- Build a legal case and participate in a moot court
- Take part in various human rights awareness programmes in local communities
- Learn about the history of South Africa
- Explore beautiful Cape Town with a group of interns your age
As a teenager, your Human Rights work in South Africa will focus on the following areas:
Build a legal case and participate in a moot court
During your internship, you will have a chance to build your own case for a moot court as the prosecution or defence. This is a mock court exercise in which students argue cases for practice. During your first week, you’ll visit various places relevant to your work, such as police stations or crisis centres. This is a great way for you to be introduced to the practical work that lawyers do. You will also have the chance to consult qualified lawyers on a daily basis. On the whole, it’s the perfect opportunity to gain legal work experience in South Africa.
Take part in various human rights programmes in local communities
Depending on the community needs at the time of your visit, you will be involved in various awareness programmes during your internship. These could include:
- Evaluating the impact of our current legal clinics
- Running a needs assessment in an area that may need more support
- Assisting with teaching street children about the law and their basic rights
Learn about the history of South Africa
South Africa is a country with a complicated political and legal history. You will be exposed to this history through your own research, as well as visits to museums and historical sites.
Explore beautiful Cape Town with fellow interns
On the weekends and in the evenings, we’ve organised plenty of cultural and fun activities for you to enjoy with your group. You’ll visit Table Mountain and Boulders Beach, take part in fun activities like go-karting and bowling, and visit historical landmarks like Robben Island and District 6. All activities will be supervised, and there will be constant staff support.
Where in South Africa will I be working?
In Cape Town there is still a large gap in equality, with many people not having access to affordable legal advice. Many people are also unaware of their rights, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. We fund and run our own Human Rights Office in Cape Town, offering free legal advice for those in need. You will spend some of your time at this office, and some of your time in local communities, taking part in various human rights programmes.
Cape Town is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and sea, with sprawling white beaches and numerous nature reserves. There is also a rich history to explore through museums, art and architecture, as well as countless outdoor activities to take part in.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to give you the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience in the field of human rights.
Although over 20 years have passed since apartheid, South Africa still faces drastic inequality. Many citizens do not have access to affordable legal advice and have little knowledge of their own rights. By taking part in this programme, you will form part of our ongoing efforts to empower local communities and provide free legal counsel.
This internship will teach you valuable practical and theoretical skills, which you’ll be able to add to your CV and take with you into the working world or further studies. It is also an excellent opportunity to decide if a career in human rights is right for you.
Join us on this Law and Human Rights internship in South Africa and gain valuable work experience while helping to empower disadvantaged people.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in South Africa
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