INTERN - HUMAN RIGHTS [Temporary]
Org. Setting and Reporting
The Office of the United Nations (UN) 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 Europe and
Central-Asia Section (ECAS). Located in the Americas, Europe and Central Asia Branch
(AECAB) of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD), which is
responsible for coordinating the assessment and implementation of the Office's engagement;
maintaining effective partnerships with Governments, regional organizations, national
stakeholders (e.g. national human rights institutions, non-government organizations, et cetera,
as well as United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs)); briefing and advising the High
Commissioner, the Secretary-General, United Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures Mandate
Holders on country situations; and providing follow-up to recommendations by the
international human rights system, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the
Europe and Central-Asia Section, in collaboration with other OHCHR entities, is responsible
for OHCHR's work at the country-level in the respective region of responsibility.
For more information on Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights visit: https:
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall guidance of the Chief of the Section, the
intern reports to the Human Rights Officer in the assigned work unit. This assignment shall
be offered for an initial period of three (3) months, renewable for a combined period of six (6)
months, upon further approval by the supervisor, with an initial commencement date
ranging/starting from July 2021 to September 2021.
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 and views.
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, APPLICANTS MAY BE
REQUESTED TO UNDERTAKE THE INTERNSHIP REMOTELY IN VIEW OF
CONSTRAINTS REGARDING VISA ISSUANCE, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND
ACCESS TO UN PREMISES. APPLICANTS MUST BE WILLING AND PREPARED TO
UNDERTAKE THE INTERNSHIP REMOTELY FOR A PART OR THE ENTIRETY OF
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 Europe and Central-Asia Section human rights intern will depend
on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to compiling basic
information, analyzing key issues, collecting information and documents received from
United Nations headquarters- and field-level offices and, in particular, the intern may: review
relevant information and documents related to OHCHR work in order to acquire basic
understanding of the mandates, strategic policies, framework of programmes/ activities of the
organization; assist the Desk Officers (DOs) in maintaining contacts with concerned United
Nations Country Teams and relevant human rights offices, non-government organizations
(NGOs) and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) as well as OHCHR field offices in the
region; assist Europe and Central-Asia Section Desk Officers in the coordination of the
programme of missions of special rapporteurs, representatives, experts, working groups
and/or others in the geographical area concerned and liaise in this regard with the thematic
mechanisms teams, other OHCHR entities, including the office of the High Commissioner;
assist with activities pertaining to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and follow-up, as
necessary; lend support with OHCHR activities related to information collection and
compilation of basic background for the preparation of technical papers and speeches; support
with selected field of work and program/project activities related to their priority areas of
studies and internship; assist in organizing meetings, seminars and official missions; and
perform other duties requested by supervisor, as appropriate.
Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from
clients' point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by
gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate
solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep
informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects.
Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by
genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team
agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision,
even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team
accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages
from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in
having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the
audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
An advanced university degree (Master's or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in international relations, international human rights law, political science, or related fields is required. A first-level or advanced degree (Bachelor's, Master's or
Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in any fields of studies with two additional years of relevant
work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified
fields of studies.
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.Languages
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 (Russian).
Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. The 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 this particular work.
- 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 https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=eng
For French click here on https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=frn
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: http://undocs.org/ST/AI/2020/1
APPLICATION PROCESS: You may view the full list of United Nations Secretariat employment opportunities at: https://careers.un.org. Qualified individuals who have created an Inspira account may apply directly at: https://inspira.un.org/
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.