Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
Minority Rights Group International- Legal Internship
Deadline: Monday 30 January 2017
Please note that recruitment for this position will occur on a rolling basis, so applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible.
The Legal Team at MRG is now seeking a Legal Intern. This is a great opportunity to gain hand-on experience of minority and indigenous rights legal work. Read on (and download the Legal Intern Role Description) to learn more about the position and how to apply.
Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote cooperation and understanding between communities. Our activities are focused on international advocacy, training, publishing and outreach. We are guided by the needs expressed by our worldwide partner network of organisations, which represent minority and indigenous peoples.
Specific role and responsibilities during the internship:
MRG’s legal programme focuses on strategic litigation on minority rights and indigenous issues. Interns assist in identifying gaps in the law for selection of new cases and will also assist in research and writing of legal memos in support of existing cases. Interns are also responsible for undertaking research on emerging standards in international law that relate to minorities and indigenous peoples. The issues we deal with are as diverse as securing rights to land and natural resources in East Africa to ensuring participation in political processes in Bosnia.
MRG’s legal interns gain full hands-on experience of our legal work. Full engagement in the research, analysis and drafting of cases is essential. As much of our work covers new legal ground, we also count on interns’ creativity to help establish new jurisprudence. In the past, interns have for example been involved in developing arguments on the Right to Development for an indigenous land rights case against Kenya. These were subsequently argued before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Interns can also expect to have contact with MRG’s partner organisations, with MRG staff in other international offices, and with staff in other departments in London.
Legal Interns also can have the opportunities to publish original research based on their work at MRG. We have published interns’ blogs and photo stories, and we have assisted interns in publishing academic work and op-eds related to our cases.
MRG recruits interns for a minimum period of three months, working part time or full time. Usually, internships can be extended upon mutual agreement, depending on programme requirements.
Particular skills necessary for fellowship
We require interns to have strong research skills on both electronic legal databases (e.g. Lexis Nexis) and library materials. Interns must have excellent legal writing skills. Interns must have an understanding of international human rights law. Some degree of familiarity with economic, social and cultural rights, as well as minority rights and/or indigenous rights is also ideal, but not essential. For candidates with little or no knowledge of this area, we would ask for some detail on how their skills can be beneficial to our programme.
Ideally, interns would also be able to at least read in a second or third language. Experience conducting human rights research in the field is desirable. Experience working in partnership with human rights or related organisations in the field is also desirable.
Funding/Reimbursement of expenses
Unfortunately, MRG is not able to fund the internship; however interns’ expenses will be reimbursed upon production of receipts: up to £6/day for lunch, £8/day for travel expenses.
For More information please download the Legal Intern Role Description.
Please send your CV and cover letter to:
Ruth Barry, Legal Officer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel+44 20 4722 4223;