Intern - Human Rights (Human Rights Council), Geneva

  • OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Feb 20, 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 Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB). Located within the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD), the Human Rights Council Branch serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council (HRC). Established through the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/251, the Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe with a platform to discuss thematic human rights issues and situations. In addition to the Special Procedures, that are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries, the Human Rights Council consists of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, which assesses the human rights situations of all United Nations Member States; the Advisory Committee, which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues; and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and organizations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Human Rights Council.

Servicing three formal sessions each year and its special sessions, the Human Rights Branch provides support to the activities of the President and the Bureau throughout the year. The Branch also provides support to the work of the Advisory Committee, the confidential Complaints Procedure, including servicing the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations and to the Consultative Group, which considers applications for Special Procedures mandates-holders positions. Comprised of the Human Rights Council Support and Coordination section and respective Expert Bodies, the Human Rights Council Branch supports informal meetings, consultations and other related activities of the Human Rights Council during the inter-sessional period and provides office-wide political and procedural advice in relation to other subsidiary bodies of the Council.

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 February 2020 to February 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 Council Branch interns will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to helping to ensure that the announcements and modifications in the list of speakers during regular Council sessions are accurately reflected on the screens in the conference room, and in particular, the intern may:

Provide assistance during the tabling of resolutions and the voting process, including collection of revisions/amendments from delegations;

Assist in drafting daily notes of proceedings for information sharing;

Assist the person-in-charge of the list of speakers in providing accurate information to delegations under the supervision of the responsible officer, collecting and filing documents and statements relating to each agenda item under discussion, as well as press releases and verbatim points of orders;

Assist in finalizing draft reports, which involves precise and thorough verification to ensure that all relevant information is fully reflected in the report;

Prepare the statistics report relating to the organization of work of the Council, which includes reviewing detailed data on the number of participants by category, the number of plenary and closed meetings, including minutiae on the use of conference time, breakdown of interventions, total volume of documentation issued for the Council, voting on resolutions, decisions and President's statements and other relevant details such as gender and geographical balance;

Contribute to analysis into the trends affecting the Council's work and make suggestions for improvement; Prepare draft summaries of communications falling under the Council's Complaint Procedure; Prepare draft responses to correspondence as appropriate; Assist in the preparation and servicing of the meetings of the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations;

Follow-up on parallel activities organized by the Office, by the Department of Public Information (DPI) and by non-governmental organizations (NGOs),

Draft summaries for information sharing or assist in drafting media highlights for the press;

Assist with outreach activities (i.e. Human Rights Council Extranet, Twitter, SMS Alerts), attending to queries by non-governmental organizations; and

Perform other related duties as requested by supervisor, as appropriate.


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UN jobs