Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Intern in Human Rights in Senegal

  • Placement location: St Louis
  • Role: To work on an independent research topic directly related to the aim of raising awareness of individual rights
  • Types of Placements: Human Rights organization
  • Requirements: Interns must speak advanced French
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 3 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

Law intern in Senegal speaks about human rights issues on a radio show

The experience you will gain on a Human Rights internship in Senegal will undoubtedly improve your resume. This applies whether you’re a gap year student looking to study law at university or a law graduate looking to gain some practical work experience in human rights. When you join Projects Abroad as a Human Rights intern in Senegal, your precise role will be determined by your knowledge of law and human rights and level of interest in specific areas. International experience is something all law firms will be pleased to see when recruiting trainees and new partners.

Since Senegal’s independence in 1960, many people have enjoyed a more free and humane life. However, there are still vulnerable people that need help. Today, many local and international organisations are working to improve the situation of the poor, repressed, and vulnerable. Projects Abroad interns are contributing to this mission through policy building research and initiative-based projects.

The official language of communication in Senegal is French and speaking advanced French is necessary to participate fully in this project. If you would like to improve your language skills before starting the internship, you can do a French Language Course with us. 

International Human Rights Internships in Senegal

As a Human Rights intern with Projects Abroad in Senegal, you will be based in the office of the Bureau Local de Défense et de Promotion des Droits Humains (BLDPDH). The BLDPDH is focused on raising people’s awareness about their duties and fundamental rights. They also promote democratic tolerance through various projects, including field investigations, campaigns, and publishing reports. Depending on the nature of the cases, the BLDPDH may collaborate with the African Assembly for the Defense of Human Rights (RADDHO), a well-known Human Rights organization that intervenes dealing with sociopolitical issues in many countries of West Africa.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Michael N. his the children at his host family in Senegal
Michael N.
In my final few weeks, we did some investigative reporting on the welfare of street children in the local schools. We interviewed religious leaders and political campaigners, as well as gaining privileged access to the schools themselves. No prior knowledge was required, but if you’ve got the energy, initiative and curiosity, you’ll see the difference you make to others and they make to you. Read more...

Did you know? Senegal was the first country to sign the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, an international legal institution devoted to defending human rights and the prosecution of war crimes.

Human Rights interns in Senegal do not need any previous experience in law or human rights, but a strong interest in the issues is essential. Interns help the BLDPDH achieve its aim to promote, defend, and protect human rights in St Louis by advocating respect for life and human dignity, supporting the effective equality of rights among all citizens, and working to bring together communities by promoting peace, friendship, and solidarity.

This project is for individuals interested in independent research. You will embark on an independent project about a relevant human rights topic, and will look to the BLDPDH coordinator for guidance on Senegalese laws and customs. Your reports can include a component that interacts with the community if you choose. Your supervisor can facilitate interviews and trips to rural villages. The intern reports are added to a large portfolio, which is reviewed by Senegalese authorities to make them aware of various issues. The research you do will be a valuable educational experience, while contributing to helping alleviate human rights abuses in Senegal in a broader scale.

Within your independent project, you may:

Interns on the Human Rights Project in Senegal Walk in an AIDS March

  • Find guidance in the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and any international text that presents a strong interest in human rights and ensure their effective implementation in all African countries.
  • Collect, disseminate, and exchange information on the situation of Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights in Africa and around the world.
  • Contribute to human rights education in the St Louis region.
  • Provide legal assistance to victims of violations of rights.
  • Mobilise Senegalese, African, and international public opinion to expose all cases of violation of human rights.

One of the primary goals of the Human Rights project in Senegal is to help Senegalese people understand their rights and what protection they are legally entitled to in certain situations. Based on your own initiative, you might become involved in various activities such as:

  • Raising awareness in rural communities
  • Preparing leaflets, posters, or educational tools
  • Helping to run training programs
  • Planning promotional campaigns

While interns can join this project from 3 weeks or longer, we recommend that interns join us for as long as possible. Those interning for 3 to 4 weeks sometimes find that it is not long enough to get as involved as they would have wanted to. However, if you show initiative and fully commit yourself to your work then you are able to get a great amount out of whatever length of time you spend here.

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