Human Rights Volunteer Projects in Ghana
- Placement location: Accra
- Role: To work alongside local staff with communities and individuals in need of assistance
- Types of Placement: Projects Abroad Human Rights Office
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From
- What's included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Ghana is one of the most stable and well-governed African nations. However, life in its capital city, Accra, remains far removed from any North-American or European city. Our Human Rights project is based in Accra and offers volunteers the unique opportunity to get involved at a grass roots level, raising awareness of human rights in a variety of marginalised communities or at risk groups.
Volunteers work at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office in Accra and your precise role will be determined by your level of experience and interest in specific areas.
Placements are ideal if you are a law student or a graduate seeking practical experience in human rights work. However, the work is also suitable if you're volunteering pre-university, or you have a general interest in law and human rights. The experiences that you will have while volunteering in Ghana look good on any CV.
Volunteering on a Human Rights Programme in Ghana
With the Human Rights programme you can expect to be busy in a full-time placement requiring volunteers with a keen interest in affecting change for the better whilst keeping in mind the long-term aim of the projects. Placements are certainly demanding and must be taken seriously; in working for the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office, you are representing a professional organisation.
You can expect to operate in city and rural locations, meet people at all levels of society, rub shoulders with international and domestic authorities and organisations. It is important to demonstrate careful cultural understanding and flexibility; our mandate is to empower individuals and communities as well as nurture a supportive framework for human rights rather than impose western ideals on Ghanaian society.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Ghana Human Rights Management Plan.
Human Rights - our Mission in Ghana
The mission of the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office is to ultimately promote and protect the rights of the people of Ghana. We do this through three main types of work; raising awareness on human rights, monitoring vulnerable areas and resolving human rights abuses.
While there is inevitably a legal aspect to all human rights work, the Human Rights Office circles strongly around social justice and research which encompasses the three main aims detailed below. Those volunteers seeking direct legal experience should look at our Law programme.
Education and Awareness
Human Rights awareness is conducted for two main reasons. Firstly, to educate, many victims of abuses are not aware of their fundamental human rights or the protection afforded to them by law. Equally perpetrators are often ignorant to the responsibilities they have to others. Secondly, to empower, an increased understanding and awareness encourages legal conformity and access to justice in the future.
The Projects Abroad Human Rights Office regularly performs educational and awareness raising outreach work to tackle a variety of human rights issues. Volunteers can expect to travel to rural communities, schools and other local institutions to make presentations and provide training. The Projects Abroad Human Rights Office often partners with relevant authorities to address issues of domestic violence, interstate succession, offender's rights, child labour and the right to education, to name but a few. The topics covered do vary throughout the year. We recommend you read the Monthly reports to see the kind of work our volunteers have been doing.
Human Rights Monitoring
In order to identify communities and individuals in need of assistance we perform human rights monitoring. We enter areas and facilities to identify abuses, determine their gravity, assess the needs of people affected, prioritise victims and determine a strategy to bring about change.
We also monitor facilities and activities of associate organisations to offer our most effective and efficient assistance. Such assistance may be in terms of personnel secondment, sourcing funding for financial assistance or offering direct financial assistance or simply making recommendations.
Monitoring occurs in several areas. This will vary depending on the projects running at the time, but in the past it included the following: rural farming areas, fishing and mining communities, communities of foreign nationals or seasonal migrants, city slums, courts, areas of landfill, daily media and in facilities under the direction of state institutions or NGOs.
Monitoring also allows us to consider our own level of success so that we may perform better in the future.
Where we have identified a victim or group of victims of human rights abuse we will proceed to assist those victims as directly as possible rather than offering assistance in a community setting. Such people come to our attention through our monitoring and awareness projects and we take it upon ourselves to identify the best means of resolve.
Legal resolve is facilitated through a referral procedure in which we partner with local legal organisations. Lack of accessibility to Ghanaian courts, however, often means we explore alternative methods of resolution. These include utilising the traditional methods of village chiefs and elders, publicity through lobbying campaigns and conventional media, alternative dispute resolution and mediation or the use of family structures or religious institutions which both carry high influence in Ghanaian society.
You can join the Human Rights project in Ghana for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely on the project, please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer stay.
Please note that the Human Rights Project in Ghana is not available for approximately two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.
If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills. Read more about the opportunities for skilled volunteers in Ghana.