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5 Paid NGO Internships that are Open for Applications All Year Round

As careers in human rights can be competitive, the chance of securing your ideal job will be dramatically increased if you can gain experience working with NGOs through internships. Nowadays, a lot of these organisations pay their interns fairly as working without a wage might be seen as an infringement of human rights in itself. Where you might be working for free in other industries, you can find several human rights internships that pay their interns. However, internships can also be very competitive and hard to acquire if you are not on the ball with upcoming application deadlines. To help you acquire an internship, no matter what time of year you apply, here is a list of 5 paid NGO internships that are open for applications all year round.

Human Dignity Trust

The Human Dignity Trust is a legal charity which seeks to challenge anti-gay laws, wherever they exist in the world, by supporting local activists and their lawyers to uphold international human rights laws and by highlighting every humans’ right to dignity, equality and privacy. They advocate that anti-gay laws foster a climate of fear and violence, endangering the rights and the protection of individuals at risk.

With a rolling internship programme, the Human Dignity Trust offers accessible options for which you can apply for at any time of the year. Internships are based in central London and you will need to indicate whether or not you have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom in your application. You must also have a degree in law as you will be required to undertake in depth research in human rights and domestic law practice and procedure. Currently, interns receive £800 (1045 USD) per calendar month for a 20-hour week and are usually employed for a three-month period.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross workers provide vital relief and support in times of crisis and aim to alleviate human suffering by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors who give live saving blood. They also offer internships year-round and are based in Washington D.C. The applications for Fall internships open in April, applications for Winter and Spring internships open in September and applications for Summer internships open in November so there is always an opportunity to apply throughout the year. They offer both paid and voluntary positions so search the career site for paid internships. Interns will gain insider knowledge on how this NGO works and the mission of American Cross, working at both a local and national level.

Doctors Without Borders

Since 1971, this organisation has strived to provide medical attention where it is needed most. Whether you are thinking of a medical career or a career in human rights, experience with this organisation would be valuable. This paid internship is based in Médecins Sans Frontières, the United States, and offers three application periods throughout the year. The application for the 2019 Spring internship, which runs from the 22nd of January to the 24th of May, must be submitted by the 31st of December. The Summer internship runs from May 28th to August 23rd and the application deadline is the 17th of April 2019. And finally, the Fall internship runs from September 3rd to December 20th and applications must be submitted by August 9th. Applications are also accepted on a rolling basis so you can submit your application at any time and you will be considered for the next available internship. To apply for this internship simply email your CV and cover letter to internships@newyork.msf.org and include the title of the internship period if you would like to apply for a specific time of year.


This organisation promotes women’s rights by working to end gender violence, supporting women’s efforts to defend against climate change and strengthening women’s abilities to prevent, survive and recover from war. They offer three internship sessions throughout the year. The summer session runs from June to August, with the deadline for application being the 15th of March, the Fall session from September to December, with the deadline being the 15th of July, and the Spring session from January to May with the deadline for application on the 15th of November. The length of time of the internships and type of work will vary depending on which internships are available at the time. You can see the positions that are currently available on the webpage some of which include campaigner, executive assistant and program coordinator. The internships are based in New York City and you must be authorized to legally work in the US as MADRE is not able to sponsor visa applications for interns from outside the US.

TRIAL International

This NGO supports victims of international crime in their fight for justice by providing legal assistance and developing local capacity so that the victims can understand and mobilise their own human rights. They aim to give victims of the most serious crimes, such as genocide and torture, access to legal representation so that they can obtain justice. In addition, they work internationally adapting existing legal frameworks to bring about structural change.

Jobs and internships are posted according to availability. You can see the internships that are currently available on the website, these include internships at the investigation and criminal law division and internships in access to justice for victims of international crimes. You may need to be a Swiss citizen or be able to obtain a valid work permit as internships are currently taking place in Geneva. Depending on the type of internship, you will be working on different tasks generally linked to international criminal law such as drafting or correcting articles for their website or writing reports.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.