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Human Rights Program

  • Human Rights Program Interns

    A commitment to human rights for all people around the world was a founding principle of The Carter Center. Interns in this program support this important mission through the Center's work to protect and promote human rights.


A commitment to human rights for all people around the world is a founding principle of The Carter Center. The Human Rights Program works to advance human rights globally through the protection of human rights defenders, the convening of leading activists and decision makers, and the building of capacity for local actors to promote human rights in their communities.

An internship with the Human Rights Program involves rewarding, substantive contributions to all aspects of the program's work, including communications with those seeking help, nongovernmental organization partners, attorneys, government offices, and local human rights NGOs worldwide.

Interns carry out scholarly research and analysis to inform the annual Human Rights Defenders Forum, as well as produce online content to support and promote public dialogue on human rights issues. Interns also support the Human Rights House and Extractive Industries Governance programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls initiative in Ghana and Nigeria.

Number of Interns per Semester: 3-4

Internships are available in the following four areas:

+Human Rights Defenders Forum

The The Forum On Human Rights is an annual gathering of human rights activists from all regions of the world. The Forum generates a picture of the state of global democracy and human rights movements and further reports to public and U.S. policy-makers. Interns in this area will play critical roles in ensuring the success of the Forum.

Number of Interns per Session: 1

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Attention to detail
  • Appreciation of critical path and thorough follow-through
  • Background, either academically or experientially, in the hospitality industry, (i.e. catering, hotel, or conference centers), marketing, or management are preferred
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities and circumstances
  • Night and weekend availability
  • Ability to solve complex interpersonal challenges and communicate across cultures
  • Foreign languages skills, especially French, Spanish, and Arabic

Typical Projects:

  • Accompany staff on site visits
  • Work with external event sponsors
  • Assist in executing events
  • Generate event specific social media content
  • Attend pre-conference planning meetings
  • Update and disseminate event information

+The Forum on Human Rights

The Forum On Human Rights at the Center is an online platform for collaboration among defenders of human rights around the world. The Forum hosts live and asynchrounous online conversations leading to constructive outcomes and community building among human rights defenders, along with a media resource library focused on human rights topics.

Interns will support live conversations, play a role in managing activity on the Forum, research media to enhance the resource library, and aid in producing content for Forum channels, including social media. Interns will learn about current human rights issues, as well as online community and content production in photographic, video, audio, and written media.

Number of Interns per Session: 1

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A human rights background, experientially or educationally
  • Strong interest in creative online storytelling, collaboration, and community building
  • Previous experience updating and managing online platforms and social media
  • Excellent written and oral skills
  • Awareness of journalistic practice and AP style
  • Digital content production skills including text, photography, audio, and video
  • Positive attitude, curiosity, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm
  • Academic or professional background in communications or journalism is helpful

Typical Projects:

  • Create content in a variety of media around human rights topics for online publication
  • Assist in producing live online Roundtable conversations
  • Transcribe interviews with human rights defenders and create scripts for video production
  • Research human rights topics and draft publications
  • Find and add relevant media resources to the Forum site
  • Work directly on project planning and monitor the success of online engagements
  • Create and publish updates for the Forum newsletter and in social media channels

+Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls

The Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls initiative creates opportunities to advance human rights-based interpretations of religious texts and approaches to traditional practices by (i) training religious and traditional community leaders, including women, on human rights principles and tools to facilitate community-based dialogue; (ii) cultivating spaces and platforms for shared learning and collective action to end gender-based abuses; and (iii) raising public awareness in support of women and girls’ rights.

Interns will be introduced to project cycle management, and will gain practical experience in designing gender transformative programs. Interns will support monitoring and evaluation of program results, research context-specific issues, and apply creative thinking to develop educational materials.

Number of Interns per Session: 1

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Academic or experiential background in human rights
  • Strong interest in gender and women’s rights
  • Awareness of participatory methodologies and human rights-based approaches
  • Excellent written and oral skills
  • Creative, curious, enthusiastic, and resourceful

Typical Projects:

  • Research human rights issues that lie at the intersection of religion, tradition, and gender
  • Design participatory approaches to monitor and evaluate transformative change
  • Prepare briefing notes and materials
  • Draft stories of change
  • Develop awareness raising materials and content for collective education forums
  • Support needs assessment/vulnerability analysis exercises

+Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Programs

The Carter Center currently conducts three programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), two of which are managed under the Human Rights Program. These are the Human Rights House (HRH) program based in Kinshasa and the Extractive Industries Governance (EIG) program in Lubumbashi. The third program, focused on Citizen Observation of electoral processes (CO), is managed under the Democracy Program. Interns working with the DRC staff will have the opportunity to work cross-programmatically to support needs of all three initiatives. The central aspect of all three DRC projects is to strengthen the capacity of Congolese civil society organizations to advance human rights within their communities, increase government accountability and transparency, and promote needed reforms to policies and practices.

Interns will gain an in-depth understanding of the DRC political and cultural context, as well as experience with project management in dynamic and complex country. Interns play an essential role in contextualizing Congolese current affairs relevant to Carter Center programming by monitoring and reporting on daily developments. They are a crucial part of the programs, conducting research, supporting on-the-ground operations, and reviewing partner reports. Interns also contribute to program proposals and donor reports, and they work closely with staff to translate substantive and administrative documents between French and English.

Number of Interns per Session: 1

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong research and writing skills in both English and French
  • Fastidious attention to detail
  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize activities, working with multiple team members
  • Demonstrated interest in human rights and sub-Saharan Africa

Typical Projects:

  • Prepare briefing notes and materials
  • Written synthesis of information and translation from French to English
  • Regular tracking and reporting of political developments
  • Daily tracking and reporting of Congolese news
  • Support in formatting budgets, tracking expenses and reviewing ledgers
  • Assist in preparing materials for local partners

Interested in applying for an internship in the Center's Human Rights Program? View application deadlines »

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Internship Deadlines

Spring 2024
Application deadline: Oct. 16, 2023
Start date: Jan. 16, 2024

Summer 2024
Application deadline: March 1, 2024
Start date: May 21, 2024 (some flexibility allowed)

Fall 2024
Application deadline: June 17, 2024
Start date: Aug. 27, 2024

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