• Internship
  • USA

About The Job
HRFK seeks applicants for a Summer Intern to support its work advocating for the advancement of human rights protections for children in the criminal legal system.

HRFK seeks to create a paradigm shift, underpinned by laws and policies, in how the United States justice system views, treats, and sentences children who have come into conflict with the law, especially those that have experienced prior childhood trauma. Shifting current policies and systems that promote an overly punitive approach that disproportionately harms children of color to a human rights framework that is child-centered and trauma-informed, will ensure all children are treated as children and with the care and dignity they deserve. Specifically, HRFK drives change through:

Policy Research and Recommendations: Through its State Ratings Report, HRFK has identified the 12 laws needed to establish a basic legal framework to protect the rights of all children in the criminal justice system. These laws provide a blueprint for reform and provide state and local organizations a mechanism for holding their elected officials accountable for achieving positive policy outcomes for children.

Public Education: Passing laws is only half the battle, HRFK works to ensure the entirety of the criminal justice system is equipped to take a child-centered, trauma-informed, human rights lens when interacting with children. This includes training for judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors. External to the judicial system, HRFK seeks to educate the general public through op-eds and media engagement, and often as a ghost-writer for or in partnership with partners in the field.

Advocacy: Cultivating and stewarding the support of state and federal legislators and connecting them with strong state-level advocacy campaigns elevates successes at the state-level to the national-level, influencing both federal policy and creating a “race-to-the-top” whereby states with lower ratings are compelled to take action. Human Rights for Kids has 11 current or former state legislators on its Board of Directors from around the country and actively conducts outreach and cultivates a network of champions at the federal level.

Strategic Litigation: HRFK engages in and supports strategic litigation to bring about lasting legal reforms on behalf of children through the court system. Activities focus on appellate litigation and submitting Amicus Briefs to advance legal protections for children who have suffered human rights abuses. HRFK’s litigation work is done in concert with its legislative advocacy and public education efforts to maximize impact.

Reporting to the Director of Advocacy and Government Relations and Operations and Program Associate, the summer internship will assist in policy and research-related endeavors as assigned to further the goals of Human Rights for Kids.


  • Identify national, regional, and local news stories to uplift every day with HRFK staff and social media consultants.
  • Help develop and maintain a national database of people currently incarcerated for crimes they committed as children.
  • ● Execute special projects (Op-eds, reports, etc.), including developing strategies and tactics for implementation, monitoring of effectiveness and making recommendations for improvements as required to ensure that overall goals are achieved.
  • ● Research, draft, and update legislative briefs or papers on HRFK policy priorities.
  • ● Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned

Experience & Qualifications

  • ● Ability to work independently as well as within a team
  • ● Ability to work independently and on a remote basis
  • ● Excellent interpersonal, relationship building and communication skills
  • ● Excellent research, writing, analytical, and communication skills
  • ● Ability to work and communicate quickly and accurately, handling multiple projects and deliverables under pressure

This internship will be unpaid, but some universities offer stipends for students working at nonprofits. HRFK will assist with college credit that could be acquired through your work with us.

About Human Rights for Kids
Human Rights for Kids (HRFK) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of the human rights of children. We use an integrated, multi-faceted approach which consists of research & public education, coalition building & grassroots mobilization, and policy advocacy & strategic litigation to advance critical human rights on behalf of children in the United States. Our work consists of: (1) Protecting children from harm; (2) Reforming justice systems to ensure we focus on rehabilitating children who come into conflict with the law; (3) Protecting immigrant, non-native children from harm and discrimination; (4) Promoting access to quality education for all children; and (5) Promoting healthy communities for children to ensure access to housing and health care.

HRFK envisions a world where society protects children from violence and harm, provides treatment and care to those children who do suffer harm, rehabilitates and forgives children who make mistakes or harm others, and ensures that all children are healthy and have an equal chance in the race of life so that they may pursue their dreams and reach their full potential.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of HRFK and central to our work as a human rights organization. We are committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible.

HRFK is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. HRFK encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

How to Apply
To apply for this position, please send a Cover Letter, Resume, Writing Sample of no more than 3 pages, and 2 references to by April 28th. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

To apply for this job email your details to