Intern – Human Rights [temporary], Geneva, Switzerland At Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Closing date: Sunday, 13 August 2023

Posting Title: INTERN – HUMAN RIGHTS, I (Temporary Job Opening)


Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Duty Station: GENEVA

Posting Period: 09 February 2023 – 13 August 2023

Job Opening Number: 23-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-200240-J-Geneva (A)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Organisational Setting and ReportingThe 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 with the Universal Periodic Review Branch (UPRB). Located within the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD), the UPRB leads and acts as the Secretariat of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. Created in 2006 through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council (HRC), the UPR is a cooperative human rights mechanism of the HRC and a unique process that involves a review by the Council of the human rights records of all 193 United Nations Member States every four and a half years. By January 2022, all Member States had been reviewed in three occasions. In November 2022, the UPR started its fourth cycle that will conclude in 2027. With an ultimate aim to improving the human rights situation in all countries and under the auspices of the HRC, the UPR is a State-driven process that provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their respective countries, whilst fulfilling their human rights obligations. The UPR also reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, while addressing human rights violations wherever they occur. As one of the main features of the HRC, of which currently no other universal mechanism exists, the UPR ensures equal treatment for every country when human rights situations are assessed. More information on the UPR can be found at Based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the overall guidance of the Chief of the UPR Branch, the intern reports to the Human Rights Officer responsible for the internship program within the UPR Branch. 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 2023 to December 2023. This assignment is on site, in Geneva. 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 age, 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 and most particularly in the work of international human rights mechanisms, including the UPR, 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. 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 UPR Branch interns will depend on the individual’s background and duties and may include but are not limited to assisting staff members in the servicing of countries’ reviews before, during and after the UPR Working Group (WG) sessions. During the WG sessions, the intern will A). Assist in the drafting of small sections of the UPR WG report under the staff members supervision, through i). assisting in translating and drafting recommendations issued by delegations into English; and ii). assisting in translating and drafting summaries of the statements issued by delegations into English. B). Assist in Secretariat management related tasks, including compiling lists of delegations; drafting/translating correspondence to participants; handling new communication and technology tools implemented for fully virtual or hybrid sessions (Zoom, Webex, other platforms…); drafting ad hoc summaries; providing data research and statistics support; supporting media related tasks; taking notes during UPR related side events; and other tasks connected with the session. The in-session assignments may change depending on the specific modalities of the sessions. During the HRC sessions (item 6), the intern will assist staff members in the drafting of small sections of the UPR Outcome report under the staff members supervision, through the translation of statements into English and drafting short summaries, as well as temporarily assist the HRC Branch in specific in-session activities, including in its hybrid modalities using new communication and technology tools. Out-session assignments may include but are not limited to: i). Assisting staff members in the preparation of UPR pre-session documents (compilation and summary), including research and analysis of human rights information and trends; ii). Assisting staff members in the finalization of documents and activities related to the most recent UPR WG session; iii). Helping in the indexing of the UPR WG recommendations and preparing infographics under staff members supervision; iv). Helping in the preparation and implementation of follow-up activities; v). Performing substantive and thematic research into specific areas of the UPR’s work; vi). Assisting in the preparation and revision of training material; vii) Assisting in the preparation of daily notes, bullet points, electronic material (infographics, presentations and video snapshots); viii). Participating in the UPRB weekly meetings; and ix). Providing assistance in the accomplishment of any other task relevant to the UPRB activities such as organization of and/or participation in meetings, panels, etc.

CompetenciesPROFESSIONALISM: 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.

EducationTo qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme applicants must, at the time of the expression of interest, 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); or be a graduate or enrolled in a second university degree programme (i.e. Master’s degree or equivalent degree, or higher), preferably in the area of law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related field with a university degree as defined above and, if selected, must commence the internship on the date specified in the Acceptance letter. Academic knowledge on human rights and international human rights mechanisms, including the UPR is desirable. Knowledge of on-line meeting platforms and tools such as Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc…. is desirable. Basic IT skills and proficiency in MS Office applications such as Word, Excel, Power point are desirable. Previous background or technical IT skills in the area of databases, data research and analysis, graphic design and video production would be an asset. APPLICANTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAMME.

Work ExperienceNo 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.

LanguagesEnglish and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship in the UPRB fluency in English or French is required, knowledge of the other is an asset. Knowledge of another United Nations official language would be an advantage, (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).

AssessmentIncomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. The UPR 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 UPR mechanism; – 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; – Describe your knowledge and experience to assess your compliance with the competencies required; – Summarize thematic area and/or geographical pillars of interest; – 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 For French click here on

Special NoticeFAMILY 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: APPLICATION PROCESS: You may view the full list of United Nations Secretariat employment opportunities at Qualified individuals who have created an Inspira account may apply directly at 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. boutUs/Pages/WhoWeAre.aspx

United Nations ConsiderationsAccording 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.



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