Intern - Human Rights (Special Procedures), Geneva

  • OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Jan 29, 2020
Intern OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Job Description

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 Special Procedures Branch (SPB). Created in through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Special Procedures Branch is responsible for thematic research and policy development, human rights mainstreaming across all work areas of the United Nations system, development of tools and learning packages and provision of expertise to a variety of stakeholders on a wide range of human rights themes. Located within the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division (TESPRDD), the Branch lends support to independent human rights experts - Special Rapporteurs or Independent Experts, together referred to as mandate holders, appointed by the Human Rights Council with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic perspective.

The Special Procedures Branch consists of the Groups and Accountability Section; the Sustainable Human Development Section; the Protection, Religion, Accountability and Human Security Section; the Justice, Protection and Social Rights Unit; Equality, Non-Discrimination and Participation Unit; and the Coordination Information and Communications Unit. For more information on the Special Procedures Branch and its work, including an overview of the different themes covered, go to:

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall direction of the Chief of Branch, the intern reports to the Human Rights Officer in the assigned work unit. 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 (Special Procedures) interns will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to contributing to thematic reports or studies, including research of related literature, international law and jurisprudence and in particular, the intern may: Assist in the preparation of official country visits, in particular through the drafting of country-specific human rights assessments; Analyse human rights issues contained in cases and complaints addressed to the mandate holders; Draft letters on particular cases and complaints taken up by mandate holders, including summarizing the human rights violations alleged in the case and preparing a short legal analysis of these violations; Collect information and conduct research for the preparation of briefing notes, statements and other documents; Take notes of meetings with different stakeholders, in particular civil society representatives; Attend sessions of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and assisting with the preparation of related activities and events; Assist in the organization of meetings and seminars; and Perform other related duties as requested by supervisor, as appropriate.


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Organization type

UN jobs