United Nations Internship – Human Rights (Africa Branch) 2021


Application Deadline:23rd October 2021

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.


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:


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.Education

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.


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).Assessment

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.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the United Nations Internship – Human Rights (Africa Branch) 2021



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