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 the international internship with the Development and
Economic and Social Issues Branch (DESIB). Located in the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, the Branch facilitates OHCHR's thematic work on civic space, the right to development and related issues such as sustainable development, environment and climate change, economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), business and human rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, children and youth, older persons, and migration. The Branch is comprised of nine hiring entities, namely:
i) the Right to Development Section (RTDS), which is responsible for the implementation of the mandate of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner on the realization of the right to development. It is also responsible for OHCHR's work on climate change and environment related issues as well human rights and corruption; ii) the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Section (ESCR), which facilitates OHCHR thematic work on ESCR including health, water and sanitation, older persons, food and social protection, cities and local governments; iii) Human Rights and Disability Unit iv) Children and Youth Rights Unit; v) Migration Unit facilitates the work on migration, including climate change and environment related migration; vi) the Sustainable Development Section (SDS), which leads OHCHR efforts on human rights mainstreaming in development through inter-agency and inter-governmental processes and, in particular, in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; vii) the Civic Space Unit, which ensures inclusive, diverse, safe, independent and meaningful civil society participation in decision-making in line with the 2030 Agenda, contributes to protection of civil society actors at risk (including from intimidation and reprisals for cooperating with the UN) and actively promotes open civic space, including legal and policy frameworks that facilitate debate online and offline and allow civil society to organize freely; viii) the Business and Human Rights Unit, which is the focal point for UN Human Rights work on business and human rights (BHR) centered around the promotion and implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and ix) Social Justice and Empowerment Program, working to ensure empowerment at the local community level for researchers, academics, and human rights defenders in human rights, focusing on ESCR, SDGs, and Right to Development. The team explores innovative methodologies and facilitates networks and partnerships to strengthen resilience at the community level and contribute to the Human Rights mechanisms.
For more information on OHCHR's mandated activities please visit www.ohchr.org
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall direction Chief of the Branch and the guidance of the respective Chief of Section, the intern reports to the Human Rights Officer in the assigned work unit. This assignment shall be offered for an initial period of three (3) months, renewable for a combined period of six (6) months, upon further approval by the supervisor, with an initial commencement date ranging/starting from February 2022.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
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.
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, APPLICANTS MAY BE REQUESTED TO UNDERTAKE THE INTERNSHIP REMOTELY IN VIEW OF CONSTRAINTS REGARDING VISA ISSUANCE, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND
ACCESS TO UN PREMISES. APPLICANTS MUST BE WILLING AND PREPARED TO UNDERTAKE THE INTERNSHIP REMOTELY FOR A PART OR THE ENTIRETY OF THE INTERNSHIP.
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 Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch human rights intern(s) will depend on activities carried-out within the assigned work unit and the individual's qualifications and competencies. Duties may include but are not limited to researching and analyzing issues on a wide range of thematic issues mentioned above and, in particular, the intern may: draft reports, background materials and other relevant documents for the Secretary-General, High Commissioner and the Secretariat as well as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council, and its subsidiary bodies, as necessary; prepare for and service missions, meetings, seminars and workshops (e. g. preparation of documentation, drafting of notes and reports); assist with collaborative work and activities organized with other United Nations Departments, agencies and bodies; and perform other related duties requested by the supervisor, including supporting other OHCHR units, as necessary.
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.
TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: Keeps abreast of available technology; Understands
applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office; Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; Shows willingness to learn new technology.
To qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme, applicants must, at the time of submission, be a graduate or enrolled in a graduate school programme (i.e. Master's degree or equivalent degree, or higher) or, be a graduate or enrolled in the final academic year of a first-level university degree programme (i.e. Bachelor's degree or equivalent degree) preferably in the area of law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related field, OR have graduated with a university degree as defined above AND, if selected, must commence the internship on the date specified in the Acceptance letter.
APPLICANTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPATION 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, knowledge of the other an asset. Knowledge of another United Nations official language would be an advantage (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).
Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. Development and Economic and Social Issues 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 Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch;
- Indicate the three priority areas of interest in the work of the 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.
United Nations Considerations
Interns are not financially remunerated by the United Nations. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institutions.
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.