2007 Human Rights Fellowship Programme for Students from Least Developed Countries
Please note that we are no longer accepting applications to this Fellowship Programme. Only selected candidates will be contacted by the organizers. We thank you for your understanding
Background and Objectives
The Human Rights Fellowship Programme for Students from Least Developed Countries (LDC) is jointly organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The overall objectives of this project are:
- To increase the understanding of the LDC fellows of current human rights issues at the international level and give them an insight into the work of the United Nations and OHCHR; and
- To provide OHCHR and the United Nations human rights mechanisms with the assistance and contribution of outstanding students or graduates from LDCs.
To qualify for the fellowship, candidates from the LDCs listed below must be graduate students or holders of a graduate degree in a discipline related to the work of the United Nations (e.g. international law, political science, social sciences, history or other related topics). Experience with or a specialization in human rights will be considered an asset. Candidates should be less than 30 years old at the time they send their candidature. The 2007 programme will be run in English. Selected participants will be requested to submit proof of fluency in English.
Least Developed Countries
The 2007 fellowship is open to candidates from LDCs:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti , Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia , Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives , Mali , Mauritania , Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.
Content and Methodology
The Programme will consist of both training and practical exposure to the work of OHCHR. The training will be conducted in the form of seminars and debates that will allow for a maximum exchange of views. A significant part of the training will also be devoted to practical skills exercises that will strengthen the fellows' professional skills and abilities and help them to better adapt to the multicultural and international working environment of OHCHR. Once the training segment is completed, the fellows will be assigned to an OHCHR Branch. Upon the completion of their fellowship both the supervisor and the fellow will be required to complete a final report describing what was achieved during the fellowship. At the end of the Programme, every fellow will be requested to complete an evaluation questionnaire on his/her assignment and to share his/her feedback with the organizers.
The training curriculum will include the following topics:
- Introduction to the structure and functioning of the United Nations Organization and System;
- The main challenges facing the United Nations today;
- The United Nations Agenda for Reform;
- The United Nations System in Geneva ;
- Briefings on OHCHR and selected human rights topics;
- New Information and Communication Technologies;
- United Nations report writing techniques;
- Structure, retrieval and use of United Nations and OHCHR documentation;
- Study visit to the « Cyberspace » and to the library of the United Nations Office at Geneva ; and
- Guided tour of the Palais des Nations;
Venue, Date and Language
The 2007 Programme will be run in English at the offices of OHCHR in Geneva , Switzerland . It is expected to start on 1 October 2007 and end on 31 January 2008.
Financial and Logistical Arrangements
The travel costs of the fellows will be covered by the Programme. In accordance with policies and procedures governing the administration of United Nations fellowships, participants will receive a stipend to cover their living expenses in Geneva . Visa arrangements, accommodation, health and accident insurance will also be provided by the Programme.
Resource Persons and Training Material
The training faculty will comprise experts from the academic and private sector as well as from international circles, including practitioners from both within and outside the United Nations system. Every participant will receive a set of training materials at the beginning of the Programme.
To apply for the Programme, please read the instructions on the application form carefully, complete the form legibly and ensure that it arrives before the deadline of 20 August 2007. Applications arriving after the deadline will not be considered.
Applicants should submit the following documentation:
• A covering motivation letter stating the reason for applying to the Programme, indicating the benefits that are expected to be derived from the training and career goals;
• A duly completed and signed application form;
• One recommendation letter. Please see page 5 of the application form.
Address for Applications
The application form, recommendation and motivation letters should be sent to:
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Application forms can be downloaded here:
For additional information, please consult the "Frequently Asked Questions" .
The selection committee will give due consideration to the candidates' qualifications, age and to adequate geographical and gender distribution of the fellowships. Applications from female candidates are encouraged.
Selected candidates will be informed in writing, before 3 September 2007 about the status of their candidature. For efficient and fast communication, all candidates are kindly requested to clearly indicate a fax or e-mail address on the attached application form.
Due to the large number of applicants, the organizers are unable to inform unsuccessful candidates . Unsuccessful candidates, however, may re-apply for following periods.
Fellows who complete all the requirements of the Programme will receive a certificate that will be co-signed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UNITAR Executive Director.