Intern

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.

We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.

We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

The Open Society Public Health Program supports marginalized populations to fight discrimination and protect their fundamental rights. The program aims to build societies committed to inclusion, human rights, and justice, in which health-related policies and practices reflect these values and are based on evidence.

The International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD), part of the Open Society Public Health Program, works to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs. Through grantmaking, capacity-building, and advocacy, IHRD works to reduce HIV, fatal overdose, and other drug-related harms; to decrease abuse by police and in places of detention; and to improve the quality of health services. IHRD supports community monitoring and advocacy, legal empowerment, and strategic litigation. IHRD’s work is based on the understanding that people unwilling or unable to abstain from illicit drug use can make positive changes to protect their health and that of their families and communities.

Purpose of Position

The objective of the internship program with the International Harm Reduction Development Program is to train participants on some of the methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups like Open Society to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs and as it relates to harm reduction and HIV/AIDS. In addition, the intern will develop substantive knowledge related to the human rights situation of people who use drugs. 

Internship hours are flexible, with a minimum of eight weeks between June 2 and August 15, 2014; 40 hours per week.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

The intern will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, on many of the broad range of activities involved in advancing the health and human rights of people who use drugs. IHRD’s work is based on the understanding that people unwilling or unable to abstain from illicit drug use can make positive changes to protect their health and that of their families and communities, including but not limited to, the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in studies associated with a project. The intern will receive their training in the context of the Open Society Public Health Program.

The intern will help develop a strategy for litigation around compulsory treatment in conjunction with a supervising attorney. Specifically, the intern will review reports on detention, access to health, and right to self-determination, and interview authors of selected reports and representatives of legal service providers in the relevant countries to draft a persuasive legal memorandum.  

Education / Experience

For this internship program, IHRD is seeking individuals:

  • who are enrolled in law school or who are attorneys enrolled in another relevant graduate degree program; and
  • who can do research and writing in Spanish.

Preference will be given to candidates with journal or other writing experience.

Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving credit and/or funding for the internship.

Skills Required
  • Highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors;
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and computer skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information;
  • Desire to function in a team environment;
  • Able to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail.
Compensation
Unpaid, lunch provided.
Application Instructions

Please send a letter of interest and resume experience before April 30, 2014, to: internships@opensocietyfoundations.org. Include the internship code in subject line: IHRD-Intern.