Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)H (no hardship)
Family Type (not applicable for home-based)
Staff Member / Affiliate TypeInternship
Target Start Date2024-01-02
Job Posting End DateSeptember 16, 2023
Terms of ReferenceTerms of Reference for UNHCR Internships
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, New York Office (NYO) at United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) is offering a full-time internship positions to qualified candidates who meet competitive criteria.
Established in December 1950, UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. UNHCR works in over 130 countries, using its
expertise to protect and care for millions.
Duty Station: New York, USA
Contract Type: Internship, full-time basis
Expected start date: 02 January 2024
Flexibility on the start and end dates. The candidates need to indicate in the application the proposed dates of internship based on the academic calendar.
NYO represents UNHCR in New York-based UN processes and functions as a liaison working closely with UNHCR's Headquarters, regional bureaus, and country operations, along with UN Headquarters (UNHQ), including the UN Departments of the Secretariat, UN agencies, funds, and programs, the General Assembly and its Main Committees, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council. NYO also works with Permanent Missions of UN Member States (MS), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international and other civil society organizations.
NYO engages in advocacy and partnership to ensure that UNHCR’s mandate and positions are promoted with key (UN, MS and other) stakeholders in New York. Matters of central concern to UNHCR are high on the agenda of the United Nations and are also of prominent concern to MS, civil society, and the media. UNHCR is appreciated as the agency with operational and policy expertise on refugee, displacement, and statelessness matters.
With increasing numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, the Security Council is often engaged with matters of central importance to UNHCR and the High Commissioner regularly addresses the Security Council. These matters often engage the Department of Peace Operations as well as the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, whose leadership role in integrated and mission settings coincide with some of the largest UNHCR operations globally.
Additionally, NYO is frequently called upon to brief and partner with civil society, including academic institutions, regarding refugees and stateless persons. Moreover, NYO is increasingly the port of call for global media based in New York on issues pertaining to UNHCR's global programs and persons of concern.
The intern is expected to support colleagues who interface frequently with UN, MS, NGOs and other counterparts on matters of central protection and human rights concern. The intern is expected to
provide regular and timely analysis of developments within the UN and their possible impact on UNHCR and its operations worldwide, as well as feed into those processes.
NYO is fully apprised of all relevant information pertaining to its mandate arising in meetings and notices that fall within the intern’s responsibilities.
Analysis of key developments and advice related to humanitarian, development, or regional files, feeding into updates provided to UNHCR HQ, regional bureaus, and country operations, to support operational effectiveness and inform UNHCR policies and positions.
External policies and planning processes related to humanitarian response or development action incorporate UNHCR concerns.
• Attend and report on assigned meetings in an expeditious and timely manner;
• Support UNHCR’s engagement with humanitarian, development and other UN bodies and processes;
• Monitor, analyze, and report on key developments with relevant stakeholders and processes related to issues which may affect UNHCR's operations and activities, an update NYO and UNHCR HQ;
• Stay abreast of UNHCR’s global operations and policies and support engagement with relevant UNHCR HQ divisions and bureaus to ensure a smooth flow of information;
• Promote UNHCR’s objectives through participation in briefings and inter-agency meetings, with a view to report on policy development, priorities and work programs of New York-based bodies and processes related to humanitarian response, human rights, development, peace and security;
• Flag opportunities to enhance understanding of UNHCR’s mandate and operations amongst NY based stakeholders;
• Make suggestions and provide inputs to ensure that UNHCR's interests and concerns are taken into account in the UN and inter-agency position papers and policy statements impacting on UNHCR's operations and protection activities;
• Enable consistent and comprehensive UNHCR messaging and interventions through close collaboration with across NYO Units, as well as UNHCR HQ and field;
• Follow and report on relevant negotiations of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions of import to UNHCR;
• Follow and report on high-level events, real-time Security Council briefings and inter-agency meetings and working groups;
• Conduct research and consultations on the topics of relevance and interest;
• Support participation of UNHCR in relevant international and bilateral fora in New York
• Assist in planning, coordinating, and carrying out public events organized by NYO.
Training components and learning elements
The intern will complete the following obligatory on-line training courses:
1. Basic Security in the field (B-SAFE)
2. Advanced Security in the field
3. Protection Induction Programme (PIP)
4. UN Course on (protection from and response to) Harassment, sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority
5. UN Course on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
6. Orientation to IPSAS.
The intern will have weekly meetings with his/her supervisor to reflect on experiences, questions, workload, learning opportunities.
Through the daily work, the intern will learn elements of UNHCR and UNHQ structure and processes. The learning elements result from the tasks the intern carries out during the assignment, such as knowledge of UNHCR policies, the UN system and its policies particularly in relation to humanitarian, political, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, development, human rights and rule of law issues, and from engagement with experienced staff members on the team.
The intern will strengthen drafting and analytical skills, through reporting on meetings, events, and other engagements and developments; as well as presentation and negotiation skills, as the intern will assist in advocating for the inclusion of UNHCR positions into UN policies.
The intern will also develop research skills through more focused and in-depth study into specific thematic and geographic issues.
The intern’s assignment provides an opportunity to develop political awareness and engage in professional networking at an international level. The intern also can keep up with political and other country-related developments of direct relevance to her/his studies and potential future employment.
• NYO weekly all staff meetings
• Weekly meetings with supervisor
• Meetings with external partners, as necessary
• Refer inquiries encountered to relevant UNHCR staff member.
Minimum qualifications required
• Be either a recent graduate (having completed their studies within one year of applying) or a current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO (Recent graduates are considered to be candidates who completed their studies within two years of applying for an internship with UNHCR); and
• Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of UNHCR.
• An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship.
Desirable qualifications and skills
• Degree in international relations, political sciences, law or related field;
• Demonstrated commitment or strong interest in international relations, refugee issues, and humanitarian response;
• Fluency in English with excellent written and oral communication skills;
• Proficiency in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Excel, Teams
• Before the start of an internship with UNHCR, candidates are responsible for arranging medical insurance and for providing proof to UNHCR of valid medical insurance covering the period of contract.
• UNHCR accepts no responsibility for any costs connected to medical insurance of interns, nor does the organization cover the costs for medical evacuation of interns.
• Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
UNHCR is an equal opportunity employer and does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees). UNHCR is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, or training.
We welcome applications from candidates with a refugee or stateless background.
Standard Job Description
Other informationThis position doesn't require a functional clearance