Fellowship Program for Staff of Secretariats of Regional Human Rights Mechanisms

The programme is an intensive learning opportunity to deepen fellows understanding of the United Nations human rights system, instruments and mechanisms.  The overall goal of the fellowship is to give staff members of Regional Human Rights Mechanisms (RHRMs) the opportunity to gain first-hand experience, knowledge and skills in relation to interacting with international human rights mechanisms.

Specific objectives:

  • identify ways to strengthen cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms such as treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review and special procedures;
  • foster interaction between RHRMs and  OHCHR staff;
  • support the work of OHCHR focal points for cooperation including sharing information with other RHRMs and enhancing the network of focal points for cooperation with RHRMs;
  • promote inter-regional exchanges and knowledge sharing among fellows.

Through this programme, the fellows will gain working-level experience with the United Nations human rights system and will receive periodic briefings and training.

The fellows will be assigned to the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS), with possibilities to learn from other divisions of OHCHR. The various thematic and geographic sections of OHCHR could also provide briefings on substantive human rights issues, depending on their needs. Fellows would also attend and observe sessions of the Human Rights Council, treaty bodies and special procedures.

In return, the fellows could share information, knowledge and best practices from their regional mechanisms with OHCHR staff; prepare substantive research papers, provide briefings, discussions and seminars could be organised to facilitate these interactions.

Proposed activities could include:

  • intensive training provided by OHCHR staff on the UN human rights system including treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council and UPR and other specific human rights thematic areas;
  • attending and observing sessions of the Human Rights Council and other inter-governmental bodies and meetings;
  • attending  treaty body sessions and the special procedures mandate holders  annual meeting;
  • organizing a side event on RHRMs at the HRC (this meeting could also serve as a briefing to member states);
  • Substitutive discussions with OHCHR geographic and thematic desk officers  (themes could be selected by fellows);
  • Briefings with key Geneva NGOs; attending key NHRI and CSO meetings in Geneva.

Fellows would:

  • review, compile and consolidate information on best practices and lessons learned from technical co-operation projects or field operations in the field of regional mechanisms;
  • assist in planning and coordinating activities related to partnerships and capacity building activities with RHRMs;
  • conduct substantive research and analysis of developments concerning RHRMs;
  • prepare substantive papers, provide briefings to OHCHR staff on their work;
  • prepare a project to implement on return.

Duration

The individual fellowship will run for a duration of two months (June to August) with a maximum capacity of 4 fellows in a calendar year.

Participant’s entitlement

Each fellow is entitled to a stipend to cover accommodation and other living expenses for the duration of the Programme. Requests for support regarding travel expenses will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A successful candidate for the Fellowship Programme should have:

  • at least 3 years of work experience with a regional human rights mechanism or on issues related to RHRMs;
  • hold  a  bachelor’s degree in law, political science, social science, public administration, journalism, international relations or other  related field;
  • have sufficient command of English to be able to participate fully in the programme; knowledge of another UN language will be an added advantage;
  • be available to attend the full duration of the programme;
  • be expected to participate in various activities and to strictly follow the programme.

Selection process

The National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section will conduct interviews with candidates that have been nominated by their institutions. Selection of the fellows will reflect gender and regional balance.

How to Apply:

Nominated candidates are requested to submit the following Documents in one single e-mail to regionalmechanisms@ohchr.org

  • a Curriculum Vitae;
  • a personal statement (maximum 500 words) in which the candidate will explain his/her motivation for applying, and how he/she will use the knowledge gained from the fellowship;
  • an official letter from the nominating organization;
  • a copy of the applicant’s passport.