Intern - Human Rights (Universal Periodic Review), Geneva

  • OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Jan 21, 2020
Intern OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Job Description

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 Universal Periodic Review Branch (UPRB). Located within the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD), the Branch leads and acts as the Secretariat of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. Created in 2006 through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Universal Periodic Review is a human rights mechanism of the Human Rights Council and a cooperative and a unique process that involves a review by the Council of the human rights records of all United Nations Member States every four and a half years. By the end of 2021, the Universal Periodic Review mechanism will have reviewed on three separate occasions the human rights records of all 193 United Nations Member States. With an ultimate aim to improving the human rights situation in all countries and under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review is a State-driven process that provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their respective countries, whilst fulfilling their human rights obligations, and reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, while addressing human rights violations wherever they occur. As one of the main features of the Human Rights Council, of which currently no other universal mechanism exists, the Universal Periodic Review ensures equal treatment for every country when human rights situations are assessed.

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 January 2020 to January 2021.

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.



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 (Universal Periodic Review) interns will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to assisting staff members in the servicing of countries' reviews before, during and after the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (WG) sessions. During the Working Group sessions, the intern will be part of the Universal Periodic Review drafting teams and may: Assist in translation of statements and recommendations issued by delegations; Assist with drafting of small sections of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group report under the supervision of responsible staff members; Take care of statistical figures and help in podium management related tasks; Handle the list of speakers; Act as note taker of Universal Periodic Review related side events; and Support in media related assignments, specifically related to the Universal Periodic Review.

When the Universal Periodic Review Working Group is not in session, interns may also be requested to: Assist staff members in the preparation of pre-session documents, including research and analysis of human rights information and trends; Help in the indexing of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group recommendations under the supervision of relevant staff members; Support the preparation and implementation of follow-up activities; Perform substantive research into specific areas of the Universal Periodic Review Branch’s work; Support staff members in the finalization of documents and activities related to the most recent Working Group sessions; Assist in the preparation and revision of training material. Upon request by the Chief of the Universal Periodic Review Branch, interns may provide assistance in the accomplishment of any other task relevant to Branch activities such as the organization of and/or participation in meetings, panels et cetera; Assist in the preparation of daily notes, bullet points and summaries; Temporarily assist other Universal Periodic Review Branch staff members in accomplishing specific activities; and Perform other related duties as requested by supervisor, as appropriate.


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UN jobs