Human Rights Documentation Exchange
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Interns at the Human Rights Documentation Exchange can expect to gain meaningful experience and insight into the issues of human rights and refugees. We will strive to create a respectful and positive learning experience for you. Internships require a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week (during office hours) for at least 8 consecutive weeks. Internships are available for the Fall, Spring, and Summer and are unpaid.

To be considered for an internship please provide a resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern with the Human Rights Documentation Exchange, your background and experience, and any particular areas of interest such as women's rights, gay rights, international law, or refugee rights.

Attn: Internship Coordinator Coordinator
Human Rights Documentation Exchange
PO Box 2327
Austin, Texas 78768
Telephone: 512/476-9841
Fax: 512/476-0130
After we receive your resume, the Internship Coordinator will contact you for an interview.

Internship Goals:

  • Learn about asylum law and other forms of immigration relief for refugees.
  • Develop research skill thorough compiling documentation on human rights and country conditions.
  • Gain practical experience in helping to protect the human and legal rights of refugees who seek political asylum or safe haven in the U.S.
  • Help educate people on the causes, conditions, and impact of refugee migration and human rights issues around the world.
  • Develop insight into human rights issues.
Interns develop their internship descriptions in consultation with the Internship Coordinator. Click here for examples of past projects.

Past Projects
One student with a strong interest in Africa chose to focus his internship on Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He edited and reorganized the in-house files for these countries and conducted research for the asylum case of a client from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also wrote an article for our newsletter about the ethnic hatred and political repression that has engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo, focusing on the case of one of our clients who fled the country after his family members were killed by government soldiers.

Another intern wanted to learn more about the plight of women around the world before beginning a master's program in Women's Studies. She chose to work primarily on the Women's Asylum and Battered Immigrant Women's Documentation Project (link) researching topics such as the legal status and rights of women, cultural/societal attitudes affecting women, community resources available to women affected by violence, and country conditions relating to health care, education and poverty in their countries of origin. She was also responsible for standardizing the organization the women's files and maintaining bibliographies for each country.

A student interested in refugee issues is currently working on the Documentation Service for Detained Refugees. He is responsible for screening letters from incarcerated refugees, corresponding with them, and identifying the assistance they require. If the client needs information to support an asylum claim, the intern researches relevant country conditions for that individual. He also provides attorney referrals to other projects and firms, reports abuse of a detainee at a facility to the appropriate organizations, and tracks down clients who have been moved to other facilities without notice.