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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 2020-2021 Internships

Applications are currently being invited from qualified candidates who wish to intern with the the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for human rights. This internship programme is intended;

  1. increase the intern's understanding of current human rights issues at the international level and give them an insight into the work of the United Nations and OHCHR in particular; and
  2. provide OHCHR and the United Nations Human Rights mechanisms with the assistance and contribution of outstanding young students or graduates.

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About United Nations Human Rights

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. The United Nations human rights programme aims to ensure that the protection and enjoyment of human rights is a reality in the lives of all people. UN Human Rights also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the three interconnected pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, human rights and development. U... read more


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OHCHR Internship


Aim and Benefits of OHCHR Internship

Internships for graduate students are available at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). These internships are intended to:

  1. increase the intern’s understanding of current human rights issues at the international level and give them an insight into the work of the United Nations and OHCHR in particular; and
  2. provide OHCHR and the United Nations Human Rights mechanisms with the assistance and contribution of outstanding young students or graduates.

The relationship between the Organization and the intern is one of mutual benefit. Interns are assigned to an organizational unit of OHCHR according to the needs of the Office and their own areas of interest. They are involved, inter alia, in: researching human rights issues, drafting analytical papers and reports, providing substantive and technical servicing of meetings, backstopping fact-finding and technical cooperation activities as well as field operations and supporting other OHCHR activities, depending on the exigencies of the Office. As part of the internship programme, OHCHR endeavours to brief interns through a series of information sessions on human rights issues conducted by staff of the Office.


Requirements for OHCHR Internship Qualification

Please keep in mind that even if you meet the qualifications described below, there is no guarantee of an internship. You will be contacted directly by the Hiring Manager if you are selected.
Applicants to the United Nations internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university   degree or equivalent, or higher);
  2. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
  3. Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in 3.1 (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation, as provided for in section 11.4 of the present instruction.

Conditions of service

  1. According to the prevailing Swiss legislation, asylum seekers are not permitted to seek any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, including internship. The legislation also extends to international organisations such as OHCHR.
  2. Interns are assigned to work with a supervisor who is responsible for providing them with a description of duties and a workplan. Upon completion of the internship, both the supervisor and the intern are required to complete a final report describing what was achieved during the internship. In addition, every intern is requested to complete an evaluation questionnaire on his/her assignment and to submit it to OHCHR’s Administrative Section.
  3. United Nations internships are not remunerated and interns are not considered officials or staff members of the Organization. Travel costs and living expenses must be borne by the interns themselves or by a sponsoring institution. Interns are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and for obtaining visas. In Geneva, interns are provided, upon arrival, with a Swiss ID card for the duration of the internship by OHCHR’s Administrative Section. They are also provided with a U.N. ground pass, a library card and general information about OHCHR and the United Nations.
  4. The United Nations accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during an internship. Interns must have their own health insurance. In case of illness or other circumstances which might prevent the completion of the internship, interns will inform their supervisor and OHCHR’s Administrative Section.
  5. There is no expectancy of employment at the end of the internship and interns cannot apply for any regular or temporary position with the United Nations during the internship and for a period of six months following the expiration date thereof.
  6. Interns are expected to work full-time and to carry out the duties assigned to them. They do not accrue annual leave during the period of the internship. Otherwise they are bound by the same duties and obligations as regular staff members; in particular, all confidential and unpublished information obtained during the internship may not be used by interns without the written authorization of the United Nations.

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Application Deadline

Not Specified


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to United Nations Human Rights on careers.un.org to apply

 When completing your application, kindly indicate a time period in the current year when you are available to start your internship.

For more details, Visit the Official Webpage of the 2020/2021 Internships at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights



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