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 located with the OHCHR New York Office. OHCHR-New York represents the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations headquarters (UNHQ) and ensures the effective integration of the norms, standards, methodologies, policies and mechanisms of the United Nations human rights system in the work of the New York-based inter-governmental organs, interdepartmental bodies, policy development processes, operational oversight activities and public information initiatives. The New York office comprises the following entities:
The Equality, Development and Rule of Law Section (EDRS) provides thematic expertise in the four focus areas of equality and non-discrimination, rule of law, counter-terrorism, justice, human rights and development and reprisals; the Intergovernmental Affairs, Outreach and Programme Support Section (IOPS) leads external engagement with inter-governmental bodies at the United Nations as well as human rights treaty-established bodies and extra-conventional mechanisms, with media correspondents, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the Section also provides support in programme planning and management, budget development and implementation, human resources and administrative services; the Peace Missions Support Section (PMSS) facilitates the political, strategic and operational integration of human rights in the United Nations peace and security agenda on peace operations, with focuses on strategic planning, policy and guidance, management, operations, outreach and regional partnerships for peace and security; the Prevention and Sustaining Peace Section (PSPS) focuses on the link between human rights and conflict and peacebuilding, and on priority country situations including emerging conflict and crisis in non-mission settings. The Section also works to mainstream human rights in the wider efforts within the United Nations to prevent conflict and crisis, and promote sustainable peace.
For more information on the work of OHCHR New York visit: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/newyork/Pages/Ourwork.aspx
Based in New York, United States of America, under the overall leadership of the High Commissioner, the intern reports to the respective Chief of Section or Human Rights Officer in the area of assignment. This internship will 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 a commencement date ranging/starting from July 2021 to December 2021.
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.
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. For internships in the United States of America, interns who are not United States citizens, permanent residents or not currently in the United States on a non-immigrant visa status will be required to obtain a G-4 visa. If already in the United States of America on another non-immigrant visa status other than G-4, interns will be responsible for ensuring that they have a valid visa, and if required, employment authorization, allowing them to undertake 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 OHCHR New York Human Rights interns will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to researching a variety of human rights themes and related issues, including analysis of information, developments and trends related to human rights, and in particular, the intern may: research, identify and analyze international human rights trends, development, policies, initiatives and/or legislation at the United Nations, assessing their impact and preparing documents and written summaries as agreed in each case; provide remote support to the organisation of virtual workshops, member state briefings, meetings with non-governmental organisations and other meetings or events as required; support the gathering of best practices, statistics and other data related to human rights; support human rights officers on specific priority countries, regions and/or thematic areas and as such, take notes at relevant meetings; assist in drafting and editing various documents, reports, position papers, statements, talking points, presentations and outreach materials; attend relevant virtual meetings as required; and perform other related duties requested by 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.
CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
To qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme, applicants must, at the time of submission, be enrolled in a graduate school programme (i.e. Master’s degree or equivalent degree, or higher) or 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 is required, knowledge of French is 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. OHCHR New York 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 international human rights issues, including their political, ethnic, racial, gender equality and socio-economic dimensions.
- Indicate the scheduled graduation for university study currently underway or actual graduation date for more 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.