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 engagements with the Africa Branch (AB) of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD). The Division is responsible for coordinating the assessment and implementation of the Office's engagement; maintaining effective partnerships with Governments, regional organizations, national stakeholders (e.g. national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, et cetera, as well as United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs)); briefing and advising the High Commissioner, the Secretary-General, United Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures Mandate Holders on country situations; and providing follow-up to recommendations by the international human rights system, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In collaboration with other OHCHR entities, the Africa Branch is responsible for OHCHR's work on the ground within the respective region of responsibility. Supporting the work of 29 field presences of sub-Saharan Africa, the Branch provides assistance to 6 Special-Procedures mandate holders appointed by the Human Rights Council (CAR, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Mali, Somalia and Sudan) and comprises the Africa Section I (Eastern and Southern Africa) and the Africa Section II (Western and Central Africa).
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall guidance of the respective Chief of Section, the intern reports to a Human Rights Officer within the assigned geographical Section. Internship engagements 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. Africa Branch human rights internships may be scheduled to commence between April 2022 and December 2022.
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 UNITED NATIONS IS COMMITTED TO BUILDING A DIVERSE AND
INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE AND WELCOMES APPLICANTS FROM DIVERSE
BACKGROUNDS AND COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
MIGRANTS AND/OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. 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 Africa Branch human rights interns will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but not limited to compiling information on human rights, analysing key issues, collecting information and documents on specific human rights topics and, in particular, the intern may:
Assist the respective Chief of Section, Human Rights Officers (HROs/ Desk oOficers (DOs) in the systematic collection and analysis of information regarding the human rights situation in one or several countries of a given region and in the preparation of reports, documents and other written materials thereon such as Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review (UPR) documents; Support HROs/DOs in researching and drafting documents on normative and institutional developments of human rights in the Africa region as well as on incidents or cases of alleged human rights violations; Assist with responses to requests for information relating to the human rights situation in the region or country concerned; Update country profiles and support the preparation of briefing packages, daily and monthly updates/reports; Assist in the preparation of relevant documents on thematic and country specific human rights issues in the respective regional pillar; Take minutes of meetings, attend side-events and/or sessions of the Human Rights Counci (HRC), Treaty Bodies and Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group (WG); and Perform other related duties requested by the 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.
To qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme applicants must, at the time of their submission, be enrolled in the final academic year of a first-level university degree programme programme (i.e. Bachelor's degree or equivalent degree); be enrolled in a graduate school programme (i.e. Master's degree or equivalent degree, or higher) or have completed an aforementioned academic degree, preferably in the area of law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related field, AND, if selected, must commence the internship on the date indicated in the acceptance letter.
APPLICANTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE PRIOR PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE TO PARTICIPATE 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. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).
Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. Africa 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 Africa 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 https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=eng, for French click here on https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=frn
United Nations Considerations
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: http://undocs.org/ST/AI/2020/1
APPLICATION PROCESS: You may view the full list of United Nations Secretariat employment opportunities at: https://careers.un.org. Qualified individuals who have created an Inspira account may apply directly at: https://inspira.un.org/
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.
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.