Deadline: 02 June 2021|

Job Code title: Intern- Human rights|

Department: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights|

Duty station: New York|


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, inter-departmental bodies, policy development processes, operational oversight activities and public information initiatives. The OHCHR New York Office comprises the Equality, Discrimination and Rule of Law Section (EDRS); the Inter-governmental Affairs, Outreach and Programme Support Section (IOPS); Prevention and Sustaining Peace Section (PSPS) and the Peace Mission Support Section (PMSS).

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 two (2) months, renewable for a combined period of six (6) months, upon further approval by the supervisor, with a commencement date ranging/starting from June 2020 to June 2021. PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE 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 THEIR INTERNSHIP.

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 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 Regional Programme Management 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: Assist in the preparation of reports, background materials and other relevant documents; Assist with the organization of meetings, seminars, and related events; Attend meetings and preparing summaries of the proceedings; Assist in the preparation of outreach material such as talking points, correspondence and presentations; 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 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 on the acceptance letter.

Work Experience


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


Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. OHCHR New York 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 international human rights issues, in particular norms, standards, methodologies, policies and mechanisms of the United Nations human rights system;
– 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.

Use this link to Apply

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