Minority Rights Group International

Legal Department

November 2019 – April 2020


Overview of organisation’s mission and activities


Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a nongovernmental 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 (including litigation), training, publishing and outreach. We

are guided by the needs expressed by our worldwide partner network of organisations, which

represent minority and indigenous peoples.


MRG works with around 130 organisations in over 60 countries. MRG has consultative status

with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), observer status with the

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and is a civil society organization registered

with the Organisation of American States (OAS). MRG is registered as a charity and a company

limited by guarantee under English law, registered charity no. 282305, limited company no.



Specific role and responsibilities during the Internship :

MRG’s legal department focuses on strategic litigation on minority rights and indigenous issues,

together with holistic advocacy designed to complement the litigation.   The Legal Intern will

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. The Legal Intern will draft legal pleadings

when the opportunity arises and correspondence in pending cases.   The Legal Intern will be

involved in paralegal training, media work, and formal policy and advocacy work. Finally, the

Legal Intern will be 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 Europe.


MRG currently has experience litigating cases before the European Court of Human Rights, the

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’

Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. MRG has

also supported litigation before the UN Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Court

of Human Rights. The litigation focuses primarily on land rights, political participation and wider

anti-discrimination issues. For a full overview of our legal work, you are encouraged to visit our

website – see


The Legal Intern will gain thorough, hands-on experience of MRG’s legal work.   Their 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 their creativity to help establish new jurisprudence.

The Legal Intern can also expect to have significant contact with MRG’s partner organisations,

with MRG staff in other international offices, and with staff in other departments in London.


Length of internship

This internship is for six months, working part time (2 or 3 days a week). Usually internships can

be extended upon mutual agreement, depending on programme requirements for another three



Publishing / advocacy and research opportunities

Previous interns have had 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. Potential travels to Geneva before the United

Nations bodies is also a possibility.


Particular skills necessary

The Internship is open to law graduates. We require Legal Interns to demonstrate strong research

skills on both electronic legal databases (e.g. Lexis Nexis) and library materials. Legal Interns

must also have show excellent legal writing skills and 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, the Legal Interns would also be able to at least read in a second (French being desirable).

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 £16.50/day for lunch and travel expenses.


Visa queries

If you do not already have a visa / permission to work in the UK, MRG can provide support for

candidates’ visa applications. MRG is registered as an A-rated sponsor with the Home Office.


Contact information:

Please   send   a   CV,   covering   letter   and   short   writing   sample by   31   October   2019 to


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