OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
OHCHR Geneva, Switzerland
Posting Title: INTERN – HUMAN RIGHTS, I (Temporary Job Opening)
Job Code Title: INTERN – HUMAN RIGHTS
Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 12 August 2022 – 10 August 2023
Job Opening Number: 22-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-188494-J-Geneva (A)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational 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 Human Rights Treaties Branch (HRTB). As established by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/268, the Human Rights Treaties Branch supports the activities of the human rights treaty-bodies: committees of independent experts that monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties by States parties. The Branch comprises the Anti-Torture, Capacity Building, Coordination, and Funds Section (ACBCFS) which supports the Coordination Unit, the Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Sub-committee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), and the OHCHR Humanitarian Funds (the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Contemporary Forms of Slavery); the Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Section (CPESCRS) which supports the Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR); the Groups in Focus Section (GIFS) which supports the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW), the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); and the Petitions and Urgent Actions Section (PUSS) which services all of the treaty-body based individual complaint procedures, inquiries and inter-state proceedings, as well as Urgent Actions under the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
For more information on human rights treaty bodies visit: (link)
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall direction of the Chief of Branch and general guidance the Head of Section, the intern reports to the Human Rights Officer and/or respective Committee Secretary 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 August 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 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 THE INTERNSHIP.
THE UNITED NATIONS IS COMMITTED TO BUILDING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE AND WELCOMES APPLICANTS FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS AND COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO MIGRANTS AND/OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. 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 Human Rights Treaties intern will depend of the area of assignment (Section, Committee) and the individual’s background. Duties may include but are not limited to helping service meetings of the human rights treaty-bodies and their respective working groups and, in particular, the intern may: Prepare country and legal analysis and draft legal background papers for human rights treaty-bodies, related both to State reporting procedures and treaty-body based complaints procedures; Conduct research into and draft reports on the jurisprudence of the treaty-bodies concerned; Assist with the handling of individual communications received under the different treaty-body complaints procedures; Provide support in relation to inter-state communications submitted to the Treaty-bodies; Assist in the preparation of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) country visits; Take notes during the sessions/pre-sessions, and support with administrative duties such as the preparation of documentation and reference files in advance of and during the session; Provide input to outreach and information tasks, including the Branch newsletter; Support the work of the Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI) and the treaty-body documentation databases; Conduct research and develop training exercises for use in capacity building activities on reporting by States to the Treaty-bodies; Prepare the Weekly Human Rights Treaties Branch Update; Assist with preparation of reports and background papers for the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the annual meeting of Treaty-body Chairs; Support the organization of training activities and developing relevant training material; and Perform other duties as requested by the supervisor, as appropriate.
PROFESSIONALISM: Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.
COMMUNICATION: 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.
TEAMWORK: 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.
CLIENT ORIENTATION: 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.
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 Acceptance letter.
APPLICANTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAMME.
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 Treaty 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 Treaty 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 (link)?LangID=eng, for French click here on (link)?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: (link)
APPLICATION PROCESS: You may view the full list of United Nations Secretariat employment opportunities at: (link) Qualified individuals who have created an Inspira account may apply directly at: (link)
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.