Human Rights Law Network

Interns & Volunteers

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The Human Rights Law Network’s internship and volunteer programme is a challenging and interesting experience for those committed to human rights and social justice in India. We offer an exciting opportunity to participate in movements for social change and welcome people from all fields to contribute to our initiatives. Interns and volunteers are an integral part of our dynamic team and we greatly value their efforts, creativity and contributions.

HRLN is engaged in a wide spectrum of human rights litigation and research covering areas from civil and political rights to economic rights. A perusal of this website will provide details of the work done.

Currently interns’ work includes, but is not restricted to, abortion rights, child marriages, coercive family planning policies, trafficking, violence against women, police reform, prison reform, right to education, housing rights with particular emphasis on demolition of slums, refugee rights with particular emphasis on deportation of Rohingyas, Sudanese and others, sexual harassment in universities, the right to food, disability rights, forced evictions of tribals, implementation of the Forest Rights Act, environmental cases in the National Green Tribunal, Public Interest Litigation in the High Courts of 22 states and the Supreme Court of India, fact findings into instances of gross human rights atrocities including discrimination of and attacks on dalits, sexuality minority rights particularly in respect of transsexuals, and so on.

HRLN is particularly looking for adventurous young volunteers and students who can adapt to the sometimes difficult situation in the country and who have decent writing skills in English. Volunteers and interns may be required to travel and relate in a friendly manner with local and rural populations.

HRLN is also looking for persons with an academic or media background to assist in the website development and to participate in social media campaigns as well as trainings. Research on international law for the petitions being done is also particularly helpful. We welcome and encourage internship applications from students in law schools and Institutes of Social Work that are less well known and outside the metro cities.

We actively support women, dalit and disabled students and volunteers and will do our best to make reasonable adjustments to our working environments and practices to accommodate equal access and opportunities.

Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have exhibited an interest in human rights, social and legal issues, and an eagerness to interact, learn and teach, for example by their voluntary work or activism on relevant causes.

HRLN has zero tolerance for behaviour or attitudes that display sexism, racism, castism, homophobia, or discrimination based on disability, age, community or religion. Our interns and volunteers will be treated in accordance with this code and in turn are expected to follow it while on placement with us.

HRLN is a voluntary organisation supported by donations and is therefore unable to pay or reimburse any intern or volunteer for their travel, food and accommodation expenses or provide insurance cover. Although you will always find HRLN colleagues helpful and friendly, as a small unit, we cannot provide assistance with accommodation and travel.

We Seek

Enthusiastic people committed to human rights, with willingness to interact with others, and increase their hands-on experience of social and legal issues. They should have good research, writing and communications skills, as well as showing an ability to meet tight deadlines.

Please note that applications for internship by Indian nationals should reach us at least three months before the intended date of internships.

We Expect

A minimum commitment of three months for international interns and one month for national interns who will work with an advocate or a social worker. Interns are expected to show professionalism while performing their tasks and produce a report at the end of their assignment.

Explore with Us

HRLN gives a wonderful opportunity for interns to meet their peers all over the world. They will explore the legal and social challenges people face in the human rights field in India and develop the skills to understand how the law and social activism can achieve practical benefits for ordinary people. Interns will build their capacity to conduct research related to HRLN’s initiatives, drafting public interest petitions, fact-finding, updating the website, writing articles and publications, organizing workshops and conferences and such-like. They might also be required to travel to other parts of India to conduct fact finding and research on human rights issues.

How to apply

If you are interested to undertake an internship programme, please send your application form, a recommendation letter, writing sample and CV to with a title in the subject line of your email: ‘Internship at SLIC: (mention month)'.

Download Application Form

For more information on HRLN Internship, go to FAQs

576, Masjid Road, Jungpura
New Delhi 110 014
Tel: +91-11-24374501
Email: or

Internship in Mumbai

Mumbai Office

HRLN Mumbai / ICHRL, welcome up to 15 Volunteers / Interns each year. This represents only 5% proportion of the number of applications we receive. Therefore there is some competition for places.  To ensure that spending time with us is a rewarding and enlightening experience for you and for us we have a structured application process, that facilitates a good match to expectations on both sides. 

While, we encourage interns and volunteers from all disciplines to contribute to the work, you are advised to look up the scale and diversity of the work being undertaken. This will help you choose an area or areas of work you would want to associate with, during your period with us. You can do this by reading about our initiatives on the website and contacting earlier interns and volunteers to learn about the diversity of the work assigned to them. You can do this via our facebook page. 

We require a minimum commitment of

  • twelve weeks for international applicants
  • six weeks for Indian national applicants

Please ensure that you have done your research before you arrive in Mumbai. International visitors are especially advised to prepare themselves with adequate health cover, and information about the climate, diet, dress code and cost of living before making the decision to come to HRLN. You are likely to have an exciting and sometimes demanding range of opportunities presented to you while you are with us. We aim to keep all our employees and associates safe and healthy but ultimately you are expected to come with the maturity and flexibility to cope in undeveloped areas, working amongst poor and disadvantaged people.

The Application Process:

  • Applications close on the last day each month, for internships commencing five months thereafter (January for July, February for August, March for September, April for October, May for November, June for December, July for January, August for February, September for March, October for April, November for May, December for June for December). You can also apply in earlier.
  • The Applicant is expencted to send in the Application form along with a writing sample (400 words), a research sample (400 Words) and one references (academic and/or employment).
  • The applicant can mail their application along with their CV either to Internship Coordinator, India Center for Human Rights and Law, 1st Floor, Jalaram Krupa, 61, Janmabhoomi Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400001, or email it to
  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed within a fortnight. The second round of telephone interviews will take place the subsequent fortnight, and selected candidates will be notified, soon thereafter.
  • Selected candidates should submit their waiver forms within a period of 2 weeks of having been selected, failing to do could mean losing the placement to wait-listed applicants.


International universities, partners and agencies are requested to donate a sum of £500 to help to support the work of HRLN and specifically, a bursary scheme for Indian students from marginalised communities who could not otherwise afford to intern with us. Indian universities and institutions seeking positions for their students as part of their studies are also asked to consider making a contribution to the cause. Fund raising is an integral part of working in an NGO and all interns and volunteers are requested to fund-raise on behalf of HRLN before, during and after their placement.


HRLN through Students for Human Rights (SHR) offers scholarships for students who belong to the marginalized sections of the Indian social strata such as Dalits, Tribals, and Muslims. The amount and period of these scholarships vary on a case to case basis. Applicants interested in availing of this scholarship need to fill in the Scholarship Application form available at the top of this page. Applicants can also e-mail their queries to or

HRLN – Mumbai / India Center for Human Rights and Law
Internship Coordinator
Socio Legal Information Centre
First Floor, Jalaram Krupa
61, Janmabhoomi Marg
Fort, Mumbai - 400 001
Tel: +91-22-2282 0109/2282 0192

Download Application Form


Young people have the most at stake in India’s future. For this reason HRLN believes in reaching out to students, involving them and educating them on issues pertinent to human rights.

HRLN started the Students for Human Rights (SHR) programme in 2008 to build an independent national network of students aware of and prepared to work for human rights causes.  In its first year SHR, with over 500 students from all over India, organised the first national convention of Students for Human Rights.
The network started in law colleges campuses, but today it has members across the entire educational sphere.

Every year at least 20 students belonging to marginalized groups (Dalits, Tribals and Muslims) receive scholarships under the SHR programme, enabling them to intern in any of HRLN offices across India. The purpose if the scholarship is to develop confidence and leadership skills amongst groups that are underrepresented in public life and particularly in the legal professions. The amount and period of the scholarship varies on a case-to-case basis.

If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, please fill in the Scholarship Application form. Applicants can also e-mail their queries to

For internships starting in between January and April, applications must be submitted by October of the previous year. For internships starting from September - December applications must be received by June in the same year.

Along with your application, please send a sample page of your written work in English or any Indian language. Grants are based on both qualifications and needs of specific units of HRLN. 


Q1: Why intern at HRLN?
A: HRLN is one of the largest networks of lawyers and activists committed to the advancement of human rights in India. Through its internship programme HRLN intends to motivate young and talented professionals to enhance their skills in human rights and social justice. We believe that after completing their internship programme these motivated young professionals will be equipped with legal and social knowledge as well as being able to contribute to our overall goal of having a rights-based approach.

Q2: In what areas of human rights do interns/volunteers work?
A: Interns are an integral part of the organisation. Interns/volunteers are assigned work with a specific initiative of HRLN based on their interests and experience. They are also involved in contributing to publications, website, organising workshops and conferences, undertaking fact findings, doing legal/non-legal research and assisting lawyers with cases. Apart from this interns will also be assigned to perform some general administrative duties.

Q3: Should interns have legal background to work with HRLN?
A: HRLN encourages people from diverse fields to contribute to human rights through its internship/volunteer programme. We take law, social work students as well as professionals from the fields of social science, sociology, gender studies, political science, health, development studies and communications.

Q4: Are there any donations required to join HRLN internship programme?
A: HRLN suggests a donation of at least $150 from International Universities, Partners and Agencies seeking internship positions for their students/fellows to work in India. For Indian Universities/Institutions seeking internships with HRLN, applicants are charged with an application fee of Rs 1000. Students from better backgrounds are encouraged to pay more which will help contribute towards bursary scheme for marginalized students.

In the occasion a student finds it difficult to pay the application fee or requires financial assistance, he/she can write a separate mail stating the same, substanciated by annual income certificate, to the internships coordinator at with a title on the subject line as 'Request for Financial Assistance'. HRLN can offer only limited financial assistance.

Q5: Are interns and volunteers paid by HRLN? Is there any provision for financial assistance of Interns?
A: HRLN will not pay or reimburse interns/volunteers’ expenses for their travel, food and accommodation during the internship programme. Outstation Candidates who wish to seek financial assistance to support their internship period at HRLN, may write to the Internships Coordinator at or

Q6: What is the deadline to submit the application forms?
 A: Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications for the period from January to April by October of the previous year, from May to August by February and from September to December by June.

Q7: Will HRLN make adjustments to accommodate disabled applicants?
 A: HRLN positively encourages applications from all sections of society and is proactive in attracting and recruiting people from disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society. There are several disabled people employed at HRLN in regional units and the head office in Delhi. We will make every effort to make reasonable adjustments but our buildings are congested, have stairs and no lifts, and are in neighbourhoods that could present challenges to people with vision, hearing and mobility impairments. Please explain your needs when you apply and we will be honest with you about the limitations but also do our best to make our organisation accessible.

Q8. Does HRLN take steps to encourage social and ethnic diversity?
HRLN has a zero tolerance attitude to sex, caste, race or religious discrimination and harassment. We have a code of conduct that all employees, volunteers, inerns and associates are bound by. Applicants from marginalised sections of Indian society (Adivasis, Dalits and Muslims) are particularly encouraged to apply for the internship programme. We also take positive action to receive women, disabled persons and refugees to apply. 

Q9: What documentation is required for the internship programme?
A: Applicants should send a completed internship application form, resume, a writing sample which can be any essay, law critique or any published paper or an article along with a recommendation letter from their University professor or supervisor. All documents should be sent to or with a title on the subject line ‘Application for the month of .......’.

Q10: Does HRLN provide health, security or other insurance?
HRLN neither takes the responsibility for health, safety or security of interns/volunteers nor assumes any liability for their actions. Interns are free to refuse any assignment to travel outside the office and may also decline any work that they feel compromises their safety.

Q11: What happens when the internship programme is completed?
A: At the end of the internship period interns/volunteers are expected to submit a report and hand over the undertaken work to their supervisor. Interns/volunteers are provided with a certificate after completion of their internship programme.  
Q12: Does HRLN employ interns after the internship is completed?
A: Generally HRLN does not provide interns/volunteers with employment. However, in certain cases our interns have joined our network of lawyers and are engaged in providing legal aid.

Q13: Does HRLN provide any scholarship?
A: HRLN offers scholarships for students who belong to the marginalized sections of the Indian society such as Dalits, Adivasis and tribal students through Students for Human Rights (SHR) initiative. The amount and period of these scholarships vary on a case-to-case basis. Applicants interested in applying for this scholarship should fill up the Scholarship Application form and send it to For more information go to
Law students who would like to work with us can be provided a scholarship.

Intern's Speak

In a rundown office space in the middle of one of Delhi’s poorest neighborhoods, there is a group of lawyers, activists, and interns slowly trying to change India.  Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a NGO using public interest litigation, social activism, and training seminars to redirect Indian laws in an effort to better protect prisoners, the disabled, minorities, women, and children.  They strive to ensure the right to food, the right to health care, and the right to be treated equally before the law.
Courtney Schuste, a third-year student at Syracuse University College of Law, interned with Human Rights Law Network in May-June-2012.

If you really want to work hard instead of chilling out in 1st year of law school, an HRLN internship is the best bet for you. The bad part was at times you were over loaded by a lot of work form various initiative’s even though you were not interning in that initiative. An HRLN internship gives more exposure compared to other NGO’s when it comes to law.
Lopamudra Mandal, Law Student from National Law University Orissa

The NGO with which I am working is great.  The Human Rights and Law Network (HRLN) is bursting with interesting characters, and I feel so lucky to have met these human rights superstars who have such an inspirational commitment to human rights. HRLN works in a number of initiatives, including Women’s Justice, Disability Rights, AIDS/HIV, Child Rights, and the Environment.  I am currently ‘officially’ working in the Environment Initiative, though I still have the opportunity to learn about other initiatives as well.  My day is usually occupied with research- most recently on the Canadian Judiciary and recommendations for improvements, in order to contribute to India’s National Campaign for Judicial Reform.  I have learned quite a bit, in a way that falls under the saying “The more you know, the more you don’t know”.  I am learning about things that I didn’t know I didn’t know!
Victoria Ho was on internship programme with HRLN in August-October, 2009 through Alternatives

 “Overall, words cannot really express how much I enjoyed both working at HRLN and my winter term experience. At HRLN I met incredibly passionate and qualified people, and was accepted into an office that recognized each of its staff members as important components in its vision for change. There was never a dull moment at HRLN – we were constantly on our feet, putting in calls to human rights activists, scheduling meetings, and traveling all over the country to interview those activists whenever and wherever they could meet with us. I greatly appreciated how much HRLN invested in us and in our project, and how much freedom is gave us regarding the project’s construction and implementation. I found HRLN a fantastic organization to work for, and I was pleased to walk away from the internship having recognized that this – this kind of work, this kind of project – is what I want to pursue as a career.”
Lauren Birchfield from Harvard Law School interned with Human Right Law Network in year 2009.

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Human Rights Law Network
c/o Socio-Legal Information Centre
576, Masjid Road, Jungpura
New Delhi - 110014
+91-11-24374502 (Fax)

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Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.

HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.