US Program Intern (Graduate)

Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    Los Angeles, California
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Feb 23

Position description

The US Program is seeking a graduate student (JD candidate preferred) for summer 2017 to intern with an immigration researcher at Human Rights Watch (“HRW”). The US Program is currently researching issues surrounding US government abuses on the US-Mexico border, the treatment of Central American children and families, the privatization of the immigration detention system, and the impact of immigration detainer policy on immigrant crime victims’ access to justice.


The intern’s projected activities may include researching the aforementioned topics, organizing and evaluating information obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, researching international human rights standards, reviewing fieldwork interviews, and assisting with HRW’s advocacy goals through press and social media. Other projects will be assigned as the opportunity arises. Ideally, the candidate will be available full-time for a period of 8-14 weeks between May and September. 

Internships are unpaid. Students are often able to arrange academic credit, as HRW internships offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by the HRW staff, interaction with other US and international organizations and foreign and domestic government officials, and opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, and special events relating to human rights. Students should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements


Applicants should be well-organized, self-motivated, reliable, and have demonstrated research experience. Relevant coursework in immigration, human rights law, and advocacy are desirable. Familiarity with US immigration issues and experience completing social science research (sociology, anthropology, political science, etc.) are a plus. Fluency in Spanish is strongly preferred. Computer skills (i.e., Microsoft Office, internet applications) are required. Experience with more advanced computer programs that can assemble graphics and compile statistics is highly desirable. The intern must be a student for the duration of the internship.

Applicants who are offered an internship, but who are not US permanent residents, US citizens, or in possession of a valid student visa, must apply for a J-1 visa through a sponsoring organization. This process can take several weeks and applicants will have to incur their own costs.

Application instructions

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