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  • Organization: UN - United Nations
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Rights
  • Closing Date: Closed

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the
Secretariat Department responsible for strengthening international human rights mechanisms;
enhancing equality and countering discrimination; combating impunity and strengthening
accountability and the rule of law; integrating human rights in development and in the
economic sphere; widening the democratic space; and early warning and protection of human
rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity. This announcement broadcasts
international internship assignments with the Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB).
Located within the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD), the
Human Rights Council Branch serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
Established through the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/251, the Human
Rights Council is an inter-governmental body responsible for the promotion and protection of
human rights around the globe with a platform to discuss thematic human rights issues and
situations. In addition to the Special Procedures, that are made up of special rapporteurs,
special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine,
advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries,
the Human Rights Council consists of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism,
which assesses the human rights situations of all United Nations Member States; the Advisory
Committee, which serves as the Council's "think tank" providing it with expertise and advice
on thematic human rights issues; and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and
organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Human Rights Council.
Servicing three formal sessions each year and its special sessions, the Human Rights Branch
provides support to the activities of the President and the Bureau throughout the year. The
Branch also provides support to the work of the Advisory Committee, the confidential
Complaints Procedure, including servicing the Working Group on Communications and the
Working Group on Situations and to the Consultative Group, which considers applications for
Special Procedures mandates-holders positions. Comprised of the Human Rights Council
Support and Coordination section and respective Expert Bodies, the Human Rights Council
Branch supports informal meetings, consultations and other related activities of the Human
Rights Council during the inter-sessional period and provides office-wide political and
procedural advice in relation to other subsidiary bodies of the Council. For more information
on the United Nations Human Rights Council Periodic Review visit: https://www.ohchr.
org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/Home.aspx Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall
guidance of the Chief of the Universal Periodic Review Branch, the intern reports to the
Human Rights Officer/Branch Intern Coordinator. The internship assignment shall be for an
initial period of three (3) months, renewable for a combined period of six (6) months, upon
further approval by the supervisor, and a scheduled commencement date during the first
quarter of the coming year, ranging/starting from December 2022 to August 2023. At the
United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the
necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due
regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of
qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a
diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and
employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and
ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with
disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when
requested and indicated in the application. This internship is an UNPAID and full-time
engagement that provides a framework through which students from diverse academic
backgrounds gain exposure to the work of the United Nations by way of their service within
Secretariat entities. Applicants should have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the
United Nations with a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter, and have the
demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds
and beliefs - which includes willingness to understand and be tolerant of differing opinions
THE INTERNSHIP. Applicants should indicate their present matriculation status and period
of availability in the application cover letter..


The intern shall support OHCHR in fulfilling its mission: to work for the protection of all
human rights for all people; to help empower people to realize their rights; and to assist those
responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented. Daily responsibilities of the Human Rights Council Branch intern will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to helping to ensure that the announcements and modifications in the list of speakers during regular Council sessions are accurately reflected on the screens in the conference room, and in particular, the intern may: provide assistance during the tabling of resolutions and the voting process, including collection of revisions/amendments from delegations; assist in drafting daily notes of proceedings for information sharing; assist the person-in-charge of the list of speakers in providing accurate information to delegations under the supervision of the responsible officer, collecting and filing documents and statements relating to each agenda item under discussion, as well as press releases and verbatim points of orders; assist in finalizing draft reports, which involves precise and thorough verification to ensure that all relevant information is fully reflected in the report; prepare the statistics report relating to the organization of work of the Council, which includes reviewing detailed data on the number of participants by category, the number of plenary and closed meetings, including minutiae on the use of conference time, breakdown of interventions, total volume of documentation issued for the Council, voting on resolutions, decisions and President's statements and other relevant details such as gender and geographical balance; contribute to analysis into the trends affecting the Council's work and make suggestions for improvement; Prepare draft summaries of communications falling under the Council's Complaint Procedure; Prepare draft responses to correspondence as appropriate; Assist in the preparation and servicing of the meetings of the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations; follow-up on parallel activities organized by the Office, by the Department of Public Information (DPI) and by non-governmental organizations (NGOs); draft summaries for information sharing or assist in drafting media highlights for the press; assist with outreach activities (i.e. Human Rights Council Extranet, Twitter, SMS Alerts), attending to queries by non-governmental organizations; and perform other related duties as requested by supervisor, as appropriate.


To qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme, applicants
must, at the time of submission, be a graduate or enrolled in a graduate school programme (i.
e. Master's degree or equivalent degree, or higher) or, be a graduate or enrolled in the final
academic year of a first-level university degree programme (i.e. Bachelor's degree or
equivalent degree) preferably in the area of law, political science, international relations,
social sciences or a related field, OR have graduated with a university degree as defined
above AND, if selected, must commence the internship on the date specified in the

Work Experience

No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this
internship fluency in English or French is required, knowledge of the other is an asset.
Knowledge of another United Nations official language would be an advantage (i.e. Arabic,
Chinese, Russian or Spanish).


Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. Human Rights
Council Branch hiring managers will directly contact short-listed applicants for an interview.
For this reason, in the application cover letter it is important that you:-Specify your general
interest in OHCHR, including in the human rights issues, including their political, ethnic,
racial, gender equality and socio-economic dimensions and, particularly in the work of the
Human Rights Council Branch; -Indicate the scheduled graduation for university study
currently underway or more or actual graduation date for recently obtained degree; -Indicate
information technology (IT) skills and programs in which you are proficient; -Specify your
period of availability and earliest commencement date; and-Provide three references in
support of submission. Download the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),
which is available for the hearing impaired, in the official United Nations working languages
at: For English click here on
LangID=eng, for French click here on

Special Notice

FAMILY RELATIONS: Applicants who are children or siblings of a staff member shall not
be eligible to apply for an internship at the United Nations. For the purpose of participation in
the internship programme, "child" means: (a) the child of a staff member; (b) the child of the
spouse of a staff member (stepchild); or (c) the son- or daughter-in-law of a staff member.
"Sibling" includes a half-sibling or step-sibling. CONDITIONS AND TERMS: Download
the Secretariat UN Internship programme administrative policy in either of the Organization's
official working languages (i.e. English and French) at:
APPLICATION PROCESS: You may view the full list of United Nations Secretariat
employment opportunities at: Qualified individuals who have created
an Inspira account may apply directly at: WORKING HOURS: Interns
must adhere to the established weekly working hours of the duty station where the assignment
is located. Working hours shall not exceed 5 days per week (40 hours), including one hour
lunch break.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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