Internship Program

The Internship Program is the flagship and pioneer program of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC). It is not limited to teaching, nor is it an ordinary apprenticeship or training. Instead, it is concerned with the personal growth of the interns as well as their development as human rights advocates. It involves the proper formation of law students to instill them in the tenets of Jesuit education and to acquaint them in the field of alternative law practice. It introduces law students to grassroots life and human rights advocacy in the Philippines. The program aims to address the need for peace and human rights advocates who are knowledgeable in the law and the Philippine legal system. The program has been replicated in other law schools and is adopted by Alternative Law Groups (ALG).

Originally, AHRC only had the summer internship program. It was patterned after the internship program of the law school of Columbia University, which sends its students to different human rights groups outside the United States to provide students with exposure to human rights work and advocacy. Its initial design had two components: domestic and international. Under the domestic program, interns were sent to different human rights groups throughout the Philippines. Under the international program, interns were sent to human rights groups abroad. The domestic program was designed to prepare students for international internship. AHRC implemented the first domestic internship in the summer of 1987, and the foreign program the following year. The foreign internship program was subsequently stopped in favor of an expanded domestic program.

AHRC has since expanded the internship program. In addition to the summer program, it introduced several sub-programs, which were designed to meet the particular needs of students and lawyers

Today, the program implements its three main activities, namely, the Summer Internship Program (SIP), Semestral Break Internship Program (SBIP), and the Replication Program. After their internship, the program continuously implements support activities that provide the interns with opportunities to continue their human rights advocacy. The resident interns conduct various of activities throughout the academic year in ALS. Activities may vary from celebrating women’s, children’s, Pride (LGBTQIA+), Indigenous Peoples’ months, commemorating EDSA Revolution, combatting historical revisionism surrounding the martial law era, and raising awareness on other emerging human rights issues.