Read more about interning at HRAC below – or, if you have already decided you’re coming, have a look HERE for more specifics.
Expect to deal with lots of different tasks. You could find yourself working on cases, writing content for HRAC’s website, working on research projects or writing articles about current topics and human rights issues. If you have a case of your own (or two or more) you will interview clients, write letters and notifications concerning the cases or have appointments, for example at court. Staff in the office will help you see where your skills will best fit the tasks that are available. Don’t feel overwhelmed, everyone is always willing to help and give advice. If you have certain preferences on the tasks you want to do, feel free to share, as HRAC is always willing to accommodate people’s special passions and interests.
You are able to get involved in current legal issues, both through dealing directly with clients and researching broader cases. You will learn how to deal with clients and get an insight into everyday life in a legal office. While researching and writing articles you can improve your (legal) language skills or learn about human rights, the history of human rights in Ghana, the current human rights climate, or specific issues like remand prisoners or HIV/AIDS. Throughout this practical experience, you will get to know many interesting people – from clients to staff and other interns. As an intern you are never alone, the big table corner marking the “intern place” in the office is almost always crowded. Make friends or travel companions and enjoy your stay in Ghana. It will be a unique experience.
Anyone who is interested in legal work concerning human rights should consider an internship at HRAC. We are looking for motivated people who can work both independently and as part of a team. It is often necessary to discuss your work with other colleagues or seek advice, so tasks should be carried out with an open-minded and forward approach. The internship at HRAC does not require applicants to be of a certain age, but does specify that they have a university degree such as an LLM or LLB or in a subject that is related to human rights or advocacy work. Such subjects include Human Rights, Law, International Relations, Public Relations, Communication Studies, Journalism, Development Studies, Social Science, Sociology, Social Studies etc. A Bachelors Degree in Arts is also an acceptable minimum qualification.
There are no deadlines. We accept interns all year round and do not have special preferences with regards to time or season. If there are intern places available, HRAC is happy to receive your application.
The internship at HRAC is considered to be voluntary work and is therefore unpaid. Interns at HRAC are given invaluable insight into human rights through interesting cases and by taking on a wide variety of tasks. The work will undoubtedly broaden your horizons and open you up to new points of view and passions. You should be willing to pay a non-refundable monthly fee of 200 USD on arrival to cover administrative expenditures of the office (not applicable to Ghanaian interns).
There is no specific duration so this largely depends on personal preference. However, it is important that the length of your internship guarantees enough time to work on projects and take part in workshops. It is only possible to work on interesting tasks and cases if you know about certain work procedures, so plan some time to make yourself familiar to the everyday work in HRAC.
HRAC will cover all expenses that are directly concerned with work. This does not include travelling to and from work, which is your responsibility. Depending on where you stay you can either walk to the office or take a taxi or a tro-tro. The last option is very cheap; one tro-tro drive will only cost you about 50 pesewas. When you attend meetings or have appointments during work time, HRAC will reimburse you for either a taxi or tro-tro. Where possible a tro-tro should be used to reduce costs to the organisation. This could mean leaving some additional time to travel to such meetings. The staff can help you to work out the best mode of transport to your destination. Please confirm with the Accounts Officer before spending money which you would expect HRAC to reimburse for you.
Work days are only from Monday to Friday, which means you usually have the weekend to travel. From time to time there are workshops on Saturday, which should be attended if possible. Workshops can improve your skills, introduce you to new people and further integrate you into the HRAC team. If you wish to travel more than two days at the weekend, it is possible to ask for a day or two of vacation. If this is the case, management should be informed one to two weeks in advance. It should also be kept in mind that leave is always subject to approval by the Executive Director.
The culture in Ghana is extremely warm and friendly, everyone is incredibly willing to help and welcome you to their country. It should be noted that in Ghana it is impolite to use the left hand, so you should use your right hand to eat with and to hand anything to others. There is a huge variety of languages and cultures within Ghana because it is split into 10 regions and over 170 districts. The main working language at the HRAC is English, but some of the main languages you will encounter in Ghana are Twi, Fanti, Ga, Ewe and Hausa.