Centre for Access to Justice


Grassroots Human Rights Project

Applications are now closed. Applications for volunteers will open in September 2024.

3 June 2024

About the project

In association with the Students Union UCLU, the CAJ Grassroots Human Rights project focuses on educating young people in local state schools about their human rights. Through educating young people from underprivileged backgrounds on human rights issues around the world and at home, the project hopes to raise awareness about human rights and at the same time inspire them to pursue a university education in the future.

The issues covered range from broad questions like “what is a human right?” to more practical examples such as a person’s rights with regard to “stop and search” police powers and the right to education.

Student roles

Project Leaders

The Grassroots Human Rights Project is currently recruiting for three project leaders in 2024-25. Project Leaders will work in collaboration with UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ) and oversee the various student volunteers involved in delivering Grassroots human rights seminars. In the first term, Grassroots volunteers will work in teams on familiarising themselves with the existing materials and reviewing them to ensure they are up to date, relevant and accessible (for instance, updating case studies with recent developments or adapting activities more suitable to in-person learning if it takes place). They will also receive training and learn the necessary skills to work with young people (see details below). Project Leaders will be responsible for delivering this training and ensuring students understand the expectations placed on them.

In the second term, the Project Leaders will work with CAJ to ensure that student volunteers are allocated to schools and deliver sessions on human rights in person, using the prepared materials. The students will be primarily in years 8-9 (ages 12-13). 

Volunteers will work in groups to conduct weekly or fortnightly seminars as part of a curriculum that runs for four to eight weeks (depending on the school) from mid-January/early February through to the end of the second term.

This project is a fantastic opportunity for students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of human rights, improve their verbal communication and presentation skills, work in a team and use the knowledge and skills developed in training to benefit the local community.

How to apply

Applications for project leaders are now closed. Applications for student volunteers will open in September 2024. 

Notes on Training and DBS Checks

Successful applicants will need to undergo a volunteer training session, a Volunteering with Children workshop, and a DBS check.

(1) Volunteer training sessions

Volunteers should attend one of the training sessions to be held in November, dates and times TBC. The training will be held virtually over Zoom.

(2) Volunteering with Children Training

If your project works with children or young people, then all of your Project Leaders and volunteers will need to complete our new online Volunteering with Children course. This course includes new content about how to safeguard children and young people while delivering online sessions. For this reason, all Project Leaders and volunteers will need to complete this new course, even if they have previously attended our face-to-face training. The new Volunteering with Children course is an online module and can be completed at any time.

(3) DBS Checks

This project requires volunteers to undergo a DBS check which will be arranged through the Students Union. To do this, you will need to email 3 forms of identification to slvpadmin@ucl.ac.uk. You can find guidance on the types of identification that we can accept, on our Project Leader Resources page. Once we have been emailed the correct identification, the volunteers documents will be checked via video link.

Usually, students will use a (1) passport, (2) UK driving license / BRP and a (3) UK bank statement/letter. Make sure at least one of your ID documents confirms that you live at the address to which you want your DBS certificates sent e.g. a utility bill or bank statement that goes to your hall or private rented accommodation. Keep in mind that the check is carried out by an external government agency and is not subject to any form of discretion by the Students Union UCLU staff; if you don’t comply with the documentary requirements you will not be able to pass the check and subsequently enter your school.