Intern - Human Rights (Treaty-bodies), Geneva

  • OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Jan 10, 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 Human Rights Treaties Branch (HRTB) located within the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD). 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 consists of the Anti-Torture, Coordination and Funds Section (ACFS), 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 (PUAS), which services all of the treaty-body based individual complaint procedures, inter-state proceedings, as well as Urgent Actions under the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

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. The 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, with a commencement date 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 Treaties interns will depend on the individual's background and the assigned Section/work unit, 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.


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UN jobs