OHCHR Fellowship programme for national human rights institutions

Received by e-mail: From: Biljana Pesut, Date: 11/11/2009

Fellowship programme for national human rights institutions:

  • The aim of the Fellowship programme, organized by the National Institutions Unit of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is to give staff members of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from all over the world a better understanding and appreciation of the international human rights system. Through this experience the Fellow will gain knowledge and working level experience with the United Nations human rights system (including the treaty body system, the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures), OHCHR’s work with and for NHRIs, and technical and substantive issues relating to NHRIs. It will also allow the Fellow to develop an extensive contact network with OHCHR staff, staff of other UN departments and agencies, as well as NGOs represented in Geneva.
  • It is expected that the Fellow will return to his/her NHRI and thereby strengthen the organization’s capacity in international human rights.
  • OHCHR and the National Institutions Unit also stands to gain from this fellowship programme, both in terms of substantive expertise, experience of working within a NHRI, as well as through the development of a solid and extensive network of contacts with staff in NHRIs.

Terms of reference: 

The Fellow will be working in the National Institutions Unit under the guidance and supervision of the Unit coordinator, for a period of 6 months. The Fellow will contribute to the Unit’s work through:

  • assisting in planning and coordinating activities related to partnerships and capacity building activities with national human rights institutions;
  • conducting substantive research and analysis of developments concerning NHRIs in countries assigned to him/her;
  • contributing to the mainstreaming of the work regarding national human rights institutions including support for United Nations Country Teams;
  • writing a variety of reports, communications, briefings, statements, etc., including to policy-making bodies;
  • reviewing, recording and consolidating information on best practices and lessons learned from technical co-operation projects or field operations in the field of national institutions;
  • assisting to develop and evaluate national, regional and/or global technical co-operation projects for national institutions, as required;
  • maintaining contact with national institutions and assisting them as appropriate;
  • assisting to organize and implement seminars, workshops and/or training activities on national institutions at the national, regional or global level, as required;
  • other related duties as required.

The Fellow will also receive periodic briefings on the human rights system and relevant thematic issues. These briefings will be conducted through cross-Branch consultations and cooperation.

Qualifications: – The candidate should have:

  • direct experience working in a NHRI which meets the internationally adopted standards, the Paris Principles; and
  • extensive experience working on NHRI related issues, nationally, regionally and, ideally, internationally.
  • Knowledge of the United Nations system will be considered an asset.

The candidate should have at least 3 years of professional experience of working in a NHRI. He/she should be fluent in English and/or French, while knowledge of other UN languages is considered an asset.

Candidates should also have a supporting letter from their NHRIs and be committed to imparting the knowledge and experience obtained during their fellowship to colleagues within the NHRI upon their return.

The Fellow will receive financial support from OHCHR in the form of a monthly stipend during the fellowship.

Selection process for 2010:

  • Candidates should submit their application directly to OHCHR by 27 November 2009 at the latest (see emails and fax numbers below). The National Institutions Unit will share the file with the Bureau members of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC). The ICC Bureau will select three applicants and share these recommendations with OHCHR/NIU. The National Institutions Unit will make the final selection of the candidates.
  • The Fellowship program will have 2 Fellows per year.

For more information please contact: Ms. Biljana Pesut, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel: +41 22 928 92 36, Fax: +41 22 928 9018, E-mail address.

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