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Human Rights Monitoring Associate

Mexico City

  • Organization: UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • Location: Mexico City
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Rights
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: Closed


Mission and objectives

OHCHR’s office in Mexico works to ensure that institutions, Government authorities, and the United Nations Country Team have adequate information, understanding, and skills to identify human rights concerns and to develop measures to address them effectively. OHCHR-Mexico also works to ensure that civil society and human rights victims have increased awareness of human rights standards and mechanisms. Main activities are focused on technical cooperation and legal advice on harmonization of legislation, development of indicators on human rights, support the elaboration of public policies with human rights based approach, follow-up the international recommendations, gender and human rights, amongst other issues, and monitoring of human rights situation throughout the country, with emphasis on grave human rights violations (such as enforced disappearances and torture) as well as the situation of human rights defenders and journalists and the right of indigenous peoples to prior consultation. OHCHR-Mexico is divided into several functional units: Administration, Grave Human Rights Violations, Gender and ESCR, Democratic Space, Vulnerable Groups, Indicators and Public Communications. The UNV would be part of the Democratic Space Unit, which currently consists of a coordinator (international staff) and an international UNV. The Democratic Space Unit personally receives complaints of alleged human rights violations and gives legal orientation to victims, particularly human rights defenders, and journalists. The Democratic Space Unit also participates in field missions to follow up cases of alleged human rights violations, meeting with victims, family members of victims, local NGO´s and government authorities


The UN Youth Volunteer will be part of the Grave Human Rights Violations Unit, which currently consists of a coordinator and three staff members. The Grave Human Rights Violations Unit personally gives legal orientation to victims, particularly human rights defenders who search for their loved ones who have disappeared. The Grave Human Rights Unit also participates in field missions to follow up on cases of alleged human rights abuses, meeting with victims, family members of victims, local NGOs and government authorities. The Grave Human Rights Unit members collaborate in the activities of the task forces created in the Office around the main issues, such as torture, disappearances and the right of indigenous people to prior consultation, among others. In addition, the Grave Human Rights Unit prepares mission reports and reports for UN Special Procedures, treaty bodies and headquarters in Geneva. As of January 23, 2024, over 110,000 individuals have been reported missing, marking a significant increase in disappearances between 2006 and 2024, with more than 98% occurring during this period. This surge correlates with a policy involving the deployment of armed forces for public security functions. Unlike disappearances in the second half of the last century, which were primarily politically motivated and executed by government agents and armed forces against opposition social groups, post-2006 cases involve a diverse range of perpetrators, modalities, and victims. Various patterns characterize these disappearances, including instances related to migration and affecting indigenous communities and LGBTIQ+ individuals. Predominantly, men aged 15 to 40 are impacted. The OHCHR expresses deep concern about the specific victimization of women left to care for their families, searching for loved ones at their own expense while enduring severe social and economic effects. Women are often victims of violence, persecution, stigmatisation, extortion, and reprisals. Those searching, predominantly mothers, are also human rights defenders; some have been attacked for their involvement in searches and combating disappearances. Of the beneficiaries of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders, 70% are human rights defenders, and 15% are involved in searching for disappeared persons. Disappearances persist widely across the state, with almost absolute impunity and revictimisation prevailing. Disappearances also affected journalists and human rights defenders directly. From January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023, a total of 71 cases were recorded by OHCHR-Mexico, spanning various categories: 28 affected journalists, 38 affected human rights defenders, 1 affected media worker, and 4 collateral victims. Among these, 20 cases impacted indigenous individuals, 11 affected women, and 1 affected a transgender person. As of the recording date, 15 of these cases remain unresolved

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Coordinator of Grave Human Rights Violations Unit the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: • Contribute to research and collect information on human rights issues through monitoring human rights situations at the field level and from a variety of data sources (e.g. communications, publications, the press) to keep abreast of issues/events and provide up-to-date information; • Participate in interviews with human rights victims, particularly human rights defenders who search for their loved ones, relevant authorities, and civil society organizations as part of the documentation of cases; • Assist in the analysis of information regarding substantive matters in the field of human rights, particularly related to journalists and human rights defenders who search for their loved ones, and recommend actions to be taken; • Assist in drafting inputs for reports, communications for UN reports, and correspondence relating to human rights matters; • Provide inputs for meetings with relevant authorities to assist in strengthening their capacity for the protection and promotion of human rights; • Perform other tasks as required. Results/Expected Outputs • Provision of monitoring and analysis of human rights situations and individual cases of human rights violations. • Analytical mission reports for all field missions • Accurate new and updated cases in the human rights database. • Contribution to communications on cases or human rights situations. • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring, and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counterparts, including Implementing Partners (IPs); • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in, and capacities developed

This vacancy is now closed.
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