Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
OHCHR Geneva, Switzerland
Posting Title: INTERN – HUMAN RIGHTS (Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch), 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: 13 October 2022 – 13 April 2023
Job Opening Number: 22-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-192719-J-Geneva (A)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational 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 Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch (ROLENDB). Created in 2006 through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch conducts policy oriented research and analysis in the areas of rule of law, equality and non-discrimination; develops manuals and guidance, information and communication tools on thematic issues, including mainstreaming of human rights and their gender dimensions internally and in inter-agency processes; provides technical support and assistance to strengthening national capacities of all stakeholders, including rights-holders; and provides expert and legal advice and support in the areas of rule of law, equality and non-discrimination, clearance to ensure conformity of OHCHR agreements with the United Nations rules, procedures and practices.
The Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch comprises four entities, specifically: i) the Rule of Law and Democracy Section (ROLDS), which works to develop concepts and operational strategies to enhance democracy and provide guidance and support to democratic institutions through technical cooperation activities and partnerships with the relevant parts of the United Nations, notably the United Nations Democracy Fund, the Department of Political Affairs and the United Nations Working Group on Democracy, including legal and expert advice for OHCHR field operations and headquarters on relevant issues such as respect for participatory rights in the context of free and fair elections, draft legislation and training activities; ii) the Women’s Human Rights and Gender Section (WHRGS), which works to protect and promote women’s human rights by highlighting laws and policies that prohibit women from equal access to resources (land, property, and housing), economic and social practices that render women vulnerable to trafficking, including gender-based violence and other impediments to their exercising full sexual and reproductive health rights, in concert with Women human rights defenders that strive to enhance the crucial role women play peace and security and concomitant risks they face in conflict situations; iii) the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section (ARDS), which develops and supports the implementation of national action plans, policies and programmes to promote equality and to counter racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including through the elaboration of relevant tools and the creation of a database on normative and practical means to address these phenomena; and iv) the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS), which works to improve human rights protection for indigenous peoples and minorities at the international and national levels through strategies such as strengthening relevant legislation, policies and practices, as well as through undertaking capacity building activities, while promoting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and other key human rights standards.
For more information on strengthening the rule of law and accountability for human rights violations visit: (link) boutUs/ManagementPlan/Pages/law-accountability.aspx
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall direction of the Chief of the Branch and the general guidance of the respective Chief of 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 between October 2022 and September 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.
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 Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination human rights intern will depend on activities being carried-out within the assigned work and the individual’s background. Duties may include but are not limited to undertaking research, conducting analyses, assisting with drafting of reports, guidance materials, notes and publications on core thematic and other key issues in the assigned area and, in particular, the intern may: provide substantive and logistical assistance to the organization of expert group meetings, workshops, consultations, seminars, panels, side events at the Human Rights Council (HRC) on the subjects related to respective Section of assignment; contribute to the development of on-line and face-to-face training material on the subjects mentioned above, depending on the Section; liaise with OHCHR field officers on the thematic areas relevant to the respective Section and participate in inter-agency meetings, meetings with permanent missions and with human rights activists; assist with the promotion of the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights to Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Indigenous Peoples (UNVFIP), the Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) and the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP); follow-up on mechanisms of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism (WCAR), Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related intolerance as well as the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, Working Group of Experts on People of African descent and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards; support in the organization of the annual Fellowship Programme for people of African descent and management of the Anti-Discrimination Database; and perform other related duties requested by 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. Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination 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 Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination 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.