Law & Human Rights Internships with Projects Abroad - South Africa

Projects Abroad

For law students and graduates alike, an overseas internship can be not only a substantial point of difference but an opportunity to practice their skills in a very different context and environment; in a human rights setting to the benefit of communities with no access to advice or representation.

Projects Abroad arranges a number of overseas legal internship opportunities, from human rights based work to more commercial placements across the emerging and developing world.

In South Africa, they run a dedicated Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO) that works with vulnerable individuals and groups in the Cape Town area, through community initiatives and partnerships with local NGOs and grassroots organisations. With the guidance and supervision of practicing attorneys, interning in South Africa offers a practical and constructive way to support positive action amongst disadvantaged communities. The role of PAHRO interns is diverse - working on anything from research and education, to awareness raising and case work.  

The legal cases that are encountered at PAHRO are wide-ranging. From refugee status determinations to criminal matters and even family law, interns have the opportunity to gain valuable practical legal experience. University of Western Australia intern, Alyssa Buttrum-Virco reflects on her time spent directly on cases; “overall, the level of autonomy when working on legal cases was seriously unexpected for me, as well as the calibre of task you are entrusted with. I was required to draft outlines of submissions and heads of arguments for refugee appeals cases, and unfair dismissal hearings. I was also conducting client interviews without supervision. The opportunities you get at PAHRO to develop legal skills and gain exposure to practical client interactions was incredible.”

Projects Abroad

PAHRO also run outreach and social justice initiatives, which aim to provide education to individuals in the community on human rights and access to justice.  These initiatives allow interns to work with the male and female juvenile detention centres, as well as shelters for abused women and other community centres to run educational workshops. University of Adelaide Law student Dorcas Wong remarks, “These workshops were great as not only did it offer a break from the office, but it also provided an invaluable opportunity to experience ‘the real South Africa’ and to hear the voices of the South African people themselves. Towards the end of my stay, I found that we were not merely empowering them, but were also being empowered through their responses and the stories they shared with us. It became clear that there was a sense of mutual learning and respect that flowed from each other.”

Find more information about how you can intern in Cape Town here

Read Alyssa’s full story about her time at PAHRO here, as well as Dorcas’ reflections here.

Other human rights placements are also available in Ghana, Cambodia, Argentina, Mongolia, Tanzania, Togo, Senegal, Morocco and Jamaica. Read more about these here, or give the Adelaide Projects Abroad office a call - 1300 132 831.