At a glance
- Kick-start your career in law or human rights by joining our Human Rights internship in Senegal. You’ll work closely with a local human rights organisation and help raise awareness of human rights
- Senegal has seen progress in protecting human rights in recent years. . You’ll work on addressing these issues by writing a report focusing on a specific human rights topic.
- This internship is based in Saint-Louis. This is a vibrant area and the perfect setting to immerse yourself in Senegalese culture. You’ll live with a host family, giving you a unique insight into life as a local.
16 or over
You need to speak advanced French.
What will I do on the Human Rights internship in Senegal?
You’ll be involved in a range of different tasks, working alongside human rights professionals. Here are some of the tasks you’ll do during your time in Senegal:
- Work closely with the staff of a human rights organisation
- Write a research report to help inform public policy
- Research cases and learn more about Senegalese law
- Interview local people to learn about the human rights situation on the ground
- Raise awareness of human rights through workshops and presentations
Your human rights work will focus on these main areas:
Work with human rights professionals
Throughout this Human Rights internship, you’ll be supported by local professionals. They’ll be there to guide you through writing your research report, which forms a big part of this project. They can also give you a unique insight into Senegalese law and the human rights situation in the country. You can focus on a range of different human rights issues depending on the cases being dealt with at the time. These include things like children’s rights and women’s rights.
Working alongside human rights professionals means you can get an up-close look into their day-to-day lives. They can also answer all of your questions, giving you a learning experience far beyond what you’ll get from a textbook.
Influence policies through report writing
One of your most important tasks during your internship is your research report. You’ll have the freedom to choose a topic that interests you, with local professionals available to guide you in what is relevant to local communities. However, don’t worry if you don’t have an idea for a specific topic. Your supervisor will be happy to help you with this.
Once your report is completed, it will be added to a portfolio which is sent to government officials twice a year. They can then read your report and adjust policies based on your findings. This is a great platform for your work to make far reaching, long-term differences.
Conduct research and interviews
For your report, you’ll need to conduct plenty of research. Your supervisor will help you with collecting your data. Depending on the topic you choose, this could be in the form of interviews with community members, analysing online resources or speaking with officials.
Raise human rights awareness
If you’re interested in raising awareness of human rights, you’ll have the option to conduct awareness campaigns. This could be anything from running a workshop to putting together leaflets and posters to distribute. Awareness is an important step in making sure human rights are upheld. You’ll share knowledge on what constitutes a human rights infringement and how to address these infringements.
Our project partner on this Human Rights placement
To make sure you have a rich learning experience while also helping address common human rights issues, we’ve partnered with the Bureau Local de Défense et de Promotion des Droits Humains (BLDPDH). This human rights organisation is a joint initiative of Projects Abroad and local Senegalese authorities. It is also mainly funded by Projects Abroad, making intern support even more important to keep the organisation running.
Where in Senegal will I work?
This internship is based in St Louis, a city in the north west region of Senegal. It is located on the coast, close to the mouth of the Senegal River. The population of St Louis is about 180,000.
Much of your work will take place in the offices of BLDPDH. They are equipped with internet and resources to help you conduct your research. You’ll also be working in some local communities. Facilities here are often quite basic.
St Louis is rich in natural beauty and it’s the perfect getaway for nature lovers. With an eclectic mix of white-sand beaches, marshes, and the desert-like Sahel lined with acacia trees, it’s home to a host of beautiful birds and animals. During your free time, you can relax along the shore of the Langue de Barbarie or visit a vibrant market.
A typical day gaining Human Rights work experience in Senegal
A typical day on the Human Rights placement in Senegal runs from 9am to 6.30pm. You’ll have a long break from 12.30pm to 4pm to have lunch with your host family, rest and relax. You’ll have your evenings and weekends free.
You might start your day working in the BLDPDH office. You’ll conduct research for your report or develop surveys to distribute to community members. You’ll also spend time working on your report.
You’ll break for lunch, after which you can develop awareness campaign materials. You could also go out into communities to ask survey questions or have a workshop with a BLDPDH staff member on legal issues in Senegal. You can also spend some time hearing about specific cases and how they are being addressed.
You’ll spend your evenings enjoying delicious home-cooked meals with your host family. You can then spend some time sightseeing and exploring Saint-Louis.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in St Louis. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Senegal and have a truly unique experience.
We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Senegal is a beautiful, vibrant West African country. There’s plenty to do in the evenings and over the weekends during your volunteer trip.
Our offices are based in St Louis, a coastal city bordered by white-sand beaches. It’s here that you’ll see colourful pirogues, which are wooden fishing boats painted in cheerful colours and patterns.
You can also take a trip to the Langue de Barbarie or the National Park of the Birds of Djoudj. These are both ideal locations for leisurely afternoon bird watching.
While you’re in Senegal, be sure to browse through some of the local markets. You can sharpen your bartering skills and buy tasty snacks and souvenirs. The many cafes are also perfect for enjoying local dishes.
There will likely be many other volunteers in Senegal with you, so you can also spend your free time bonding with them. This is a chance to make connections with like-minded people from around the world, as you explore together.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Senegal
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