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Indigenous Fellowship Programme

Senior Indigenous Fellows

New: the 2014 Senior Indigenous Fellow is: Ms. Atina Gangmei, Naga, India.

2013 Senior Indigenous Fellow: Ms. Rosalee Coaticlue Gonzalez, Xicana-Kickapoo, USA.
2012 Senior Indigenous Fellow: Mr. Jesse McCormick, Anishnaabe, Canada.
2011 Senior Indigenous Fellow: Mr. Elifuraha Isaya Ole-Laltaika, Maasai, Tanzania.

What is it?
In 2011, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) established an on-the-job training opportunity for indigenous persons who are more highly qualified / experienced. The position of "Senior Indigenous Fellow" aims at giving selected candidates a better understanding of the international human rights system and mechanisms, especially those dealing with indigenous issues, through direct work experience within the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS) at OHCHR in Geneva. Along with gaining practical knowledge and work experience, the Senior Indigenous Fellow also develops extensive networks with other UN departments or agencies, Geneva-based human rights NGOs and other key actors dealing with human rights and indigenous issues at the international level.

The Fellow is expected to return to his/her home country with an enhanced set of skills and expertise to contribute towards the promotion and protection of human rights of indigenous persons at the national, regional and international levels.

How does it work?
Each year IPMS selects one Senior Indigenous Fellow who directly contributes to the programmes and activities of the Section for approximately four months in summer/autumn. The activities of the Senior Indigenous Fellow include research and analysis, drafting of official reports and speeches, participating in the organization and implementation of training activities and/or workshops and international meetings. Please note that the position also involves tasks that are more of an administrative nature.

The selected candidate is entitled to a stipend to cover modest accommodation and other living expenses, as well as a return ticket to Geneva and basic health insurance.

Who can apply?
The candidate must be indigenous. He/she should have:

  • A university degree preferably in law, political sciences, international relations or any other disciplines related to human rights.
  • Basic understanding of international human rights instruments and mechanisms, including those specifically dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • Minimum of four years of working experience in the field of indigenous peoples’ rights.
  • He/she should be fluent in English. Other language skills including Spanish, French or Russian are highly desirable.

How to apply?
Each year, a call for application in posted on OHCHR website, usually in December/January. Only short listed candidates are contacted and interviewed during the first quarter of the year. As soon as the selection process is finalised, the name of the selected candidate is posted on this page.  

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