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 27 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 the Human rights officer within the assigned geographical pillar. 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 during the final quarter of the current year through the coming year, ranging/starting from November 2020 to November 2021.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND RESULTING GLOBAL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, THE INTERNSHIP WILL ONLY START ONCE THESE RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED THEREFORE, INTERESTED CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO INDICATE THEIR LATEST DATE OF AVAILABILITY TO START THE ENGAGEMENT.
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) and/or Desk officers (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 Human rights officers/Desk officers 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.
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 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 PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAMME.
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 the other is an asset. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).
Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. Africa Branch 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 specifically in the Africa context;
- Indicate recently obtained academic degree or the scheduled graduation for university study currently underway;
- Specify your period of availability and earliest commencement date; and
- Indicate information technology (IT) skills and programs in which you are proficient.
IN ADDITION TO SPECIFYING THREE REFERENCES IN THE SUBMISSION, APPLICANTS ARE ADVISED TO SUMMARIZE THEMATIC AREA AND/OR GEOGRAPHICAL PILLARS OF INTEREST IN THE APPLICATION COVER LETTER.
Download the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which is available for the hearing impaired, in both official working languages HERE at:
- https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=eng; or
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: Qualified individuals who have created an Inspira account (https://inspira.un.org/) may apply directly to this and other opportunities with the United Nations Secretariat at: https://careers.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.
United Nations Considerations
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.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.