Outline of the organisation
Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) was founded as a living memorial to Robert F Kennedy in 1968. Ever since, it has honoured journalists, authors, and human rights activists who, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, are on the frontlines of the international movement for human rights and social justice. Partnering with these courageous and innovative human rights defenders, RFKHR secures lasting change through the advocacy, training, and litigation efforts of its Partners for Human Rights program. It seeks landmark decisions before international human rights bodies, amplifies the voices of its partners on the ground to drive reform and protect their safety, and gives defenders the training and expertise they need to make change in their communities. Not only does its strategy achieve justice for human rights abuses, but it stops future abuses from occurring.
The RFKHR is a group of experts and advocates passionate about realising Robert F Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world. Whether in the US or abroad, the organisation’s programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.
(1) Legal Internship (Washington DC)
RFKHR seeks legal interns to work with its international human rights litigation and advocacy programs based in Washington DC Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to applications received by February 15.
- Conducting international human rights legal research and draft memoranda in support of litigation, fact-finding reports, and advocacy materials, as well as on recent developments of thematic issues and in country conditions relevant to the work of RFKHR.
- Assisting in preparation of documents in support of litigation before international mechanisms (eg. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, UN Treaty Bodies), and in support of advocacy before governments, international organisations, and UN special procedures;
- Attending and reporting on briefings, Congressional hearings, symposia and other meetings;
- Monitoring sources of information on countries and issues of concern to RFKHR and collecting, organising and analysing relevant information;
- Working closely with Partners for Human Rights programmatic staff to develop long-term strategies, legal actions, and advocacy campaigns to support the RFK Laureates; and
- Providing additional support to RFKHR Staff on an as-needed basis.
Applicants must have completed at least one year of law school and have a well-established interest in human rights. Individuals with fluency in one of the following languages are highly encouraged to apply: Arabic, French or Spanish.
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated understanding (academic/research/work experience) of regional and international human rights law; working knowledge of the United Nations system (e.g. UN treaty bodies, special procedures, Universal Periodic Review, etc.) and/or the regional human rights mechanisms (eg. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, etc); an ability to master complex human rights issues under tight deadlines; and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
A modest monthly stipend is available for eligible interns, and a transportation benefit is available for all interns during their time at RFKHR.
To apply for a Legal Internship, please email a cover letter, CV, brief writing sample, and list of three references to:
Subject line: Legal Intern
Further information is available here.
(2) Speak Truth to Power Internship (Washington DC)
Speak Truth To Power (STTP) is a multi-faceted global initiative that uses the experiences of courageous defenders from around the world to educate students and others about human rights, and urge them to take action.
Interns will be asked to perform a variety of tasks in order to help with the STTP program, including but not limited to:
- Researching locations for STTP photo exhibits: a 30- and 50-piece exhibition that examines issues of human rights around the world covering everything from nuclear disarmament, to children in war, environmental activism, religious self-determination and sex slavery, consisting of a series of contemporary silver gelatin prints of dramatic portraits, and wall text which employs quotations and excerpts from Kennedy's interviews of the human rights defenders.
- Organising the installation of the exhibitions around the US.
- Assisting with event planning and internal organisation.
- Assisting with curriculum development.
Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and at least one year of graduate school is preferred. Applicants should have an interest in human rights education and event planning, must be well-organised and self-motivated, with strong teamwork and organisational skills. Must demonstrate ability to problem solve/adapt to researching a varied and diverse set of issues in a fast-paced environment.
A modest monthly stipend is available for eligible interns, and a transportation benefit is available for all interns during their time at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
To apply for a STTP Internship, please email a cover letter, CV, brief writing sample, and list of three references to:
Subject line: STTP Intern