Civil Rights Defenders - Internships


NGO & Institutes

Location (s):

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo UN1244 (*not recognized by majority of countries)
  • Online
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • United States of America
  • Worldwide


We offer internships to students and to those who have recently completed their studies at university or college. Our departments plan, coordinate and implement Civil Rights Defenders work in our regions, which also includes advocacy and lobbying in Sweden.


As an intern at Civil Rights Defenders you will become part of our team and primarily assist the Program Director and current department in their mission.

Working for Human Rights

Civil Rights Defenders strive to defend people’s civil and political rights and to empower human rights defenders at risk. We work in some of the world’s most repressive regions, partnering with local organisations to achieve long-term sustainable change. Civil Rights Defenders is also active in Sweden, taking its responsibility seriously for the protection and preservation of human rights at home.

Two main categories of human rights

Human rights can be divided into two categories, civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights.

Civil Rights Defenders focuses on civil and political rights, as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms. Under civil and political rights for instance is:

  • the right to life
  • the right to protection against torture and arbitrary detention
  • the right to protection against discrimination
  • the right to freedom of expression
  • the right to fair trial and an effective remedy
  • the right to free elections

To achieve change we target several levels in society:

  • We monitor state authorities and demand accountability, justice and reparations when people’s human rights have been violated.
  • We keep the public informed so they have the proper tools and knowledge to claim their fundamental rights and freedoms,
  • We lobby and advocate decision makers so they can make informed choices on important human rights issues, and
  • We empower individual human rights defenders and organisations by providing expertise, training and above all long-term support.

About Us – Sweden’s International Human Rights Organisation

Civil Rights Defenders is an independent expert organisation founded in Stockholm in 1982 with the aim of defending human rights, in particular people’s civil and political rights. We also support and empower human rights defenders at risk on four continents.

30 years of human rights work

Civil Rights Defenders (previously known as the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) was originally part of the Helsinki Movement. During the Cold War, an agreement was signed by Eastern Bloc and Western countries in the Finnish capital in 1975. This inspired citizens across Europe and the United States to form non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to monitor their own governments with regard to respecting and safe-guarding human rights. The Helsinki family grew to include more than 40 organisations.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Primarily we offer internships to students of

  • human rights,
  • law,
  • political science,
  • international relations,
  • journalism,
  • communications or similar.

We expect that you share our values, have a genuine interest in human rights and a fundamental knowledge about our work.


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

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