About the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP)
The Indigenous Fellowship Programme was launched in 1997 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the context of the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. The aim of the programme is to give indigenous persons the opportunity to gain knowledge about the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights issues in general and indigenous issues in particular. Trained participants are better equipped to assist their organisations and communities in protecting and promoting their rights. This training programme is available in 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and Russian.
When does it take place?
Fellows from all 4 language components of the programme are trained together with simultaneous interpretation over 4 to 5 weeks in Geneva. The date of the training programme usually coincides with the annual meeting of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (June/July each year), allowing the fellows to participate more actively in that Mechanism.
What does the Programme cover?
The selected candidates are entitled to a return flight ticket, living expenses and basic health insurance for the duration of the training.
Who can apply for the programme?
- The candidate must be indigenous (non-indigenous persons will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with indigenous communities and/or organizations).
- Age should not be a limitation to participation in the programme.
- Formal education should not be a limitation to participation in the IFP given the socio-economic barriers confronted by many indigenous peoples that limit access to formal educational institutions.
- Candidates should agree to train other indigenous persons after the return to their respective communities/organizations.
- The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her indigenous organization and/or community. It is desirable that the sponsoring organization has a firm constituency or membership and that it is representative.
- The candidate should have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted.
How to apply
We strongly encourage you to send your application form well before the deadline. Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II of the application form must be signed and sent by regular post to the following address:
Mr. Morse Caoagas Flores
Coordinator, Indigenous Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
48, Avenue Giuseppe-Motta, Office 2-05
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Scanned applications are also accepted, although we prefer receiving applications by post. Your scanned application can be sent to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy: email@example.com
Application forms need to be accompanied by an official recommendation letter from the nominating indigenous organization or community.
How is the selection made?
The selection of fellows reflects a gender and regional balance, as well as a balance between communities represented. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration.
A pre-selection of 15 to 20 candidates per language group is made by previous indigenous fellows. The selection process also entails interviews of pre-selected candidates who applied to either the English, French, Spanish or Russian language components of the programme. In the case of the Spanish and Russian language components of the programme, the selection of candidates is also carried out in collaboration with the University of Deusto and the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. The final selection of successful candidates is reviewed by an advisory group composed of indigenous persons. The process starts in summer and is usually finalized by the end of the year/beginning of next.
In view of the large number of applications, only pre-selected candidates are contacted. Once the process is finalized, the list of candidates selected to participate in our training programme is posted on our webpage (usually in January).
Any other questions?
Any question pertaining to the Indigenous Fellowship Programme can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.