University of Minnesota




Organization Location and Contact Information:




650 3rd Ave S, #550
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1940
Phone: (612) 341-3302
Fax: (612) 341-2971
Asylum Client Line: (612) 341-9845


Organization Mission Statement:


Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights pledges to implement international human rights in order to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law.  By involving volunteers in research, education, and advocacy, we build broad constituencies in the United States and selected global communities.


What are the basic goals of the organization?


Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights is a non-governmental, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights. With the help of the more than 600 active volunteers who contribute an estimated $3.4 million annually of in-kind services, Minnesota Advocates documents human rights abuses, advocates on behalf of individual victims, educates on human rights issues, and provides training and technical assistance to address and prevent human rights violations. 


Minnesota Advocates has received international recognition for a broad range of innovative programs to promote human rights and prevent the violation of those rights. Minnesota Advocates provides investigative fact finding, direct legal representation, collaboration for education and training, and a broad distribution of publications. Minnesota Advocates has produced more than 50 reports documenting human rights practices in more than 20 countries; educated over 10,000 students and community members on human rights issues; and provided legal representation and assistance to over 3,000 disadvantaged individuals and families.

Minnesota Advocates is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors, consisting of community leaders in academia, the arts, business, law, and policy, and providing strategic oversight of financial and programmatic decisions.

Organizational Division of the HR Association:

Divided by programs: Education, Women’s Programs and Special Projects, Education, and Refugee & Immigrant Services.  The organization is not vertically divided, but does have a Board of Directors and support staff.

Operating Budget:

In 2005, Operating Budget was $4,590,000, including in-kind donations (such as pro-bono attorney hours).  In-kind donations account for 75% of the budget. 


Describe a “day in the life” of the organization?  What basically is accomplished by employees and volunteers on a daily basis?

This is such a large organization that a specific “day in the life” is hard to answer. 

Depending on the employee, basic jobs include:

Human Rights fact-finding with the publishing of the findings

Legal Research

Pro-bono legal representation

Immigration Legal Advice and Referrals

K-12 Education and Advocacy

Special Event planning and production (falling mostly under education)

Truth and Reconciliation projects

Trainings (contracted to other organizations and within communities)


Who does this organization employ? (i.e. Graduate degrees; only grant writing background, etc).  Why?

About a third of the employees are lawyers, so a law degree is always useful.  Within the education program, then a degree or background in education is necessary.  Backgrounds in management and accounting are necessary for the administrative tasks. 


How many employees are there?  What is average turnover?

Typically in the mid-twenties (24-25) full-time employees and between 30-40 interns at all times.


What is the preferred gender/race background/religion of employees?

Not specific policy.  Diversity is encouraged.


Do employees need a second language? 

Depending on which program, second languages are preferred but are not required.


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?

Jobs are foremost posted on website.  They are also sent to various NGO listservs through the area, and former interns are often hired.


Recommendations to obtaining a H.R. Career at MN Advocates and in general:

Experience is foremost what an individual needs to be employed at MN Advocates and in general.  An educational background is second.  Based on staff profiles, there is a mix of human rights education background and other backgrounds, but what MN Advocates staff all have in common is personal experience. 



1.  Does this organization take volunteers and interns?


What are the expectations/minimum requirements for volunteers in this organization?

At MN Advocates, there is a loose definition of volunteer and intern.  Volunteerism ranges from help with special events to pro bono law work.  There is also a general application for volunteers, but the definition of a volunteer is very loose.  As for internships, interns are required to work 8 hours/week during the school year and 20 hours/week during the summer.  Interns are expected to be students typically, and most are college, graduate or law students.  There are specific deadlines (which change yearly) for intern applications.  It is important to note that you must APPLY to be and intern. 





Home || Treaties || Search || Links