Advocacy & Human Rights Internships and Fellowships

Opportunities are ordered by nearest application deadline. Each internship and fellowship name is linked to the appropriate application page. Check back often for new opportunities!

To receive periodic email updates about specific internship opportunities, please email

Last page update: April 10, 2019

International Justice Mission: Headquarters


  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: "Applications open several months before the upcoming class."
  • Full time
  • Unpaid


  • Applicants must have completed at least 3 years of undergraduate study.
  • Candidates selected for an assignment are subject to a security background check.
  • IJM requires all interns to possess a mature orthodox Christian faith as defined by the Apostles' Creed.

Summary: The DC internship program is designed to give undergraduate students, graduate students, and young professionals the opportunity to serve at IJM's headquarters. Interns participate in the ongoing work of protecting the rights of those subject to violent forms of oppression and human rights abuses.

IJM internships offer a unique opportunity for professional development and spiritual growth. The program benefits those who plan to pursue various career paths, including public relations, law, Christian ministry, law enforcement, public policy, business, social work or general non-profit or international work. The program offers interns an opportunity to investigate their individual gifts and develop new skills while working at IJM's corporate headquarters.

For many interns, the DC internship is a strategic step prior to attending graduate school or beginning a career. The positions are open to college and graduate students, recent college graduates, and young professionals in career transition.

NARAL Pro-Choice America


  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: TBA; likely mid-June
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: The 1.2 million member activists of NARAL Pro-Choice America fight for reproductive freedom for every person in every state. Each day, we organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, paid parental leave and protections from pregnancy discrimination.

Susan B. Anthony List


  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: TBA
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: The Susan B. Anthony List could not accomplish the work that it does without the invaluable help of our student and post-graduate interns. Our interns have traveled from all over the country to Washington, D.C., to help us in our fight to save the unborn. As part of the program at the Susan B. Anthony List, interns have the opportunity to foster their personal and professional growth by participating in various activities in our nation’s capitol. These include attending meetings and press conferences with prominent pro-life leaders and members of Congress.

In addition, interns may attend seminars and workshops highlighting the role of government, policy, and related topics in the pro-life movement. They leave these seminars and workshops armed with a new knowledge which they can bring back to their campuses or apply to their professional expertise. Interns also have an opportunity to attend social gatherings to network and connect with other D.C. interns with whom they can share these experiences in our nation’s capitol.


Victory Fund

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: August 1, 2019
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government. Victory Fund’s internship program provides an opportunity to gain experience in LGBTQ political activism, communications or fundraising, and strengthen job-related skills. Opportunities include internships in Communications, Fundraising, and Special Events.


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Most are unpaid

Summary: For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

With more than 2 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., to safeguard everyone’s rights.


Human Rights Campaign

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Unpaid
  • In general, we look for demonstrated interest and enthusiasm in the role of policy and advocacy around LGBTQ issues; ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment; and experience with Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel and Outlook).

Summary: The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

While HRC is primarily regarded as a political organization, we offer internships in nearly all of our departments and programs, every one of which will provide you with training that can help start your career in the non-profit world.

Tahirih Justice Center

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Unpaid

Qualifications vary by position.

Summary: Tahirih Justice Center is a national non-profit that has served over 22,000 courageous individuals fleeing violence since 1997. Our efficient, effective, and innovative model of service is now delivered from four locations, and we’re committed to serving as many immigrant women and girls as possible. By elevating their voices in communities, courts, and Congress, Tahirih is working to create a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity.

Internship opportunities at Tahirih's national headquarters in Falls Church, VA include the following offices: Communications and Development, Forced Marriage Initiative, Social Services, and Immigration and Family Law.

American Councils for International Education

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; applications are open until positions are filled
  • Part Time
  • Unpaid


  • Recent graduate or currently enrolled in a higher education institution, to which you will be returning or plan to return to after the completion of the internship
  • Knowledge of InDesign a plus
  • Experience with open source research a plus
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, Excel)
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong communication and organizational skills; detail-oriented
  • Developed writing skills

Summary: American Councils is an international nonprofit with a global workforce of over 400 professionals, with 30 offices and locations. In 2013, the Nonprofit Times ranked us one of the top 50 nonprofits to work for in the entire United States. Headquartered in downtown Washington, D.C., American Councils is at the epicenter of culture, politics, and knowledge. Our vision is to build a world of globally competent citizens, successful institutions, and responsible nations - a vision made possible through our well appointed multicultural and multilingual staff.

American Councils designs meaningful international experiences that create informed and empowered global citizens. We are a nonprofit that partners with governments, institutions, and organizations to establish educational programs across the world-particularly in strategically important regions vital to international relations, economy, and security.

In 1974, we developed the first exchanges between scholars from the Former Soviet Union and the United States. Today we support collaborative education between the United States and Africa, Asia, Eurasia, the Middle East, and South America. Our academic and professional programs are backed by thorough research and practice that ensures their quality.

Throughout our 40-year journey, we have worked in 85 countries and built a community of more than 75,000 alumni-from high school and college students to ambassadors, diplomats, journalists, artists, educators, and other professionals. Our multilingual and globally experienced staff of 450 are located in 30 offices around the world and headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Human Rights Watch: Washington, D.C. Office

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Varies by opportunity; all applications are open until the positions are filled
  • Full time
  • Most are unpaid

Specific requirements vary by specific internship opportunity, but generally speaking, Human Rights Watch is looking for candidates that are passionate about human rights, who are determined to make an impact on people’s lives around the world. Joining Human Rights Watch means being a part of a dedicated and diverse team committed to the protection and preservation of international human rights.

Summary: Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups. Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in some 90 countries, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. With the leverage this brings, Human Rights Watch meets with governments, the United Nations, regional groups like the African Union and the European Union, financial institutions, and corporations to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world.

Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC)

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: June 30, 2019
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid + Housing

The internship selection process is competitive. A demonstrated interest in religious liberty matters is desirable but not required.

Summary: The BJC’s mission is to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, furthering the Baptist heritage that champions the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government. Interns work alongside legal, communications and development staff at the BJC’s Center for Religious Liberty, which is located two blocks from the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the U.S. Supreme Court. Interns perform clerical duties and help provide constituent services. There is also ample opportunity to explore interests and cultivate skills through writing, conducting research, engaging in multimedia projects, and assisting with coalition work and advocacy outreach.

BJC interns gain firsthand exposure to current issues concerning religious freedom and the separation of church and state. They also have the chance to make meaningful contributions to the important work of defending and extending religious liberty for all.

Amara Legal Center

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: May 30, 2019
  • Full Time
  • Unpaid

Qualifications: The ideal candidate is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree and has interests in human services, social work, and/or pre-law, and possesses the following skills and attributes:

  • Passionate towards public service and advocacy
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Willingness to thoroughly complete delegated tasks
  • Ability to work autonomously
  • Self starter with the ability to be proactive
  • Excellent time management and multitasking skills
  • Well organized
  • Detail oriented

Summary: Amara Legal Center provides free legal services to individuals whose rights have been violated while involved in commercial sex, whether involvement was by coercion, necessity, choice, or otherwise, in the D.C. metropolitan area. We fight tirelessly to provide excellent legal representation to our clients, to connect survivors with vital social services, and to raise public awareness of the legal issues facing our clients. Amara is the only organization in the D.C. area dedicated solely to serving the legal needs of survivors of sex trafficking and to sex workers.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: NCOSE works to expose and combat the full spectrum of sexual exploitation (i.e. pornography, prostitution, stripping, sexual trafficking, child sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape), while emphasizing pornography’s central role in fueling other forms of sexual abuse. We believe pornography is the cornerstone of sexual exploitation, and recognize that its harmful effects are creating a public health crisis that poses serious threats to society. Pornography encourages sexualization of children, child sexual abuse, sexual assault and violence against women, sex addiction, distorted perceptions of sexuality, dangerous sexual practices, and fuels demand for sexually trafficked women and children.

Internships at NCOSE provide energetic and highly motivated individuals the opportunity to address these issues while gaining new skills through hands-on opportunities that seek to prevent exploitation before it begins, and which foster a national culture that stands for freedom from sexual exploitation. SJA Interns also enjoy abundant opportunities to meet nationally recognized leaders in the field of anti-sexual exploitation and attend education briefings.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) Action Center

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: June 30, 2019
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Prospective interns should be:

  • Hard-working, enthusiastic and flexible individuals who possess or seek a working knowledge of women's issues and feminist organizing
  • Interns should also be committed to continuing to struggle for equality and justice once they leave the internship program and return to their communities.

Summary: The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest grassroots organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of thousands of contributing supporters and members in chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since ​its​ founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

Amnesty International

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Varies by opportunity; all applications are open until the position is filled
  • Full time
  • Most are unpaid

Specific requirements vary by position, but generally speaking, Amnesty International is seeking interns who have completed their first year of college before the internship commences. Most require the following:

  • Demonstrated familiarity with human rights advocacy
  • Proactive problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail
  • Strong commitment to human rights issues and social justice
  • Excellent research skills
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills

Summary: We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied. Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization. All people have fundamental human rights. But those rights are abused or denied every single day. When that happens, Amnesty International finds the facts, exposes what's happening, and rallies people together to force governments and others to respect everyone's human rights.

And we get results. Last year alone, Amnesty International helped free 153 people who were wrongfully imprisoned because of who they are or what they believe - and we changed laws in dozens of countries on refugees, reproductive rights, LGBT equality, free speech, the death penalty, and other critical human rights issues.

From start to finish, our work focuses on the individual - people whose human rights are abused, and people who have the power to change the world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.

Free The Slaves

  • Application Deadlines: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning several months before each new semester. Early applications are encouraged.
  • Full time
  • Unpaid

Specific requirements vary by position. Opportunities include the Communications Internship, the Fashion for Freedom Campaign Internship, the Development Internship, the International Programs Internship, and the Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation Internship.

Summary: Free the Slaves (FTS) liberates slaves and changes the social, economic and political conditions that allow slavery to persist. We support community-driven interventions in partnership with local groups that help people to sustainable freedom and dismantle a region’s system of slavery. We convince governments, international development organizations and businesses to implement key changes required for global eradication. We document and disseminate leading-edge practices to help the antislavery movement work more effectively. We raise awareness and promote action by opinion leaders, decision makers and the public. Free the Slaves is showing the world that ending slavery is possible.

The Free the Slaves internship program operates out of the Washington, D.C. office on a semester system, with three sessions per year: Spring (January to May), Summer (June to August), and Fall (September to December).

National Right to Life

  • Fall 2019 Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: Internships with National Right to Life provide college students from around the country the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the pro-life movement at the national level. Every summer approximately 10 interns are selected to serve in one of NRLC’s 14 departments. Interns quickly become part of the departmental staff and become invaluable to the day-to-day operations. Additionally, interns may be assigned projects by department directors to complete throughout the summer.


United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

  • Summer 2019 Application Deadline: Application not yet posted
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Unpaid

Summary: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.

The American Conservative Union

  • Application Deadline: Rolling; application open until positions are filled
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Paid

Summary: Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the nation’s original conservative organization. For more than fifty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. As America’s premier conservative voice, ACU is the leading entity in providing conservative positions on issues to Congress, the Executive Branch, State Legislatures, the media, political candidates, and the public.

Every year since 1973, ACU proudly hosts CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives. Taking place in Washington, D.C., each year, CPAC educates, brings together and energizes thousands of attendees, leading conservative organizations and speakers who impact conservative thought in the nation. From Presidents of the United States to college students, CPAC is the place to find our nation’s current and future leaders and set the conservative agenda each year.

The vast majority of internship opportunities with The American Conservative Union is in relation to CPAC and includes opportunities in the following areas: Events & Conferences, Development, Government Relations, and Communications.

Polaris Project

  • Summer 2020 Application Deadline: Postions not yet posted
  • Full Time/Part Time
  • Unpaid

Summary: Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do - helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.

Polaris offers a wide variety of fellowship/internship positions with a focus on teaching our leaders of tomorrow how to combat the issue of human trafficking. Polaris program participants have the opportunity to make a direct impact in ending human trafficking. Whether it's assisting on the National Human Trafficking Hotline or working side by side with our operations team on nonprofit management, our participants gain a wide variety of skills where they are given the opportunity to learn and flourish. Early applications are highly recommended as the selection process is on a rolling basis.