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The aim of the Fellowship programme, organized by the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS) of OHCHR, is to give staff members of NHRIs from all over the world a better understanding and appreciation of the international human rights system (see the video). 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 country/NHRI and thereby strengthen the organization’s capacity in international human rights.

OHCHR and the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section stand 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 NIRMS under the guidance and supervision of the Chief of Section, for a period of 6 months. The Fellow will contribute to the Section’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.


The candidate should have:

  • Minimum 3 years of working experience in a NHRI which is accredited with “A” status by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
  • Extensive experience working on NHRI related issues, nationally, regionally and, ideally, internationally.
  • He/she should be fluent in English and/or Spanish and/or Arabic, 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. For those candidates who have already applied pursuant to our earlier announcement and were not selected should apply again if still interested in the Programme.


  • Respective NHRI will be responsible to cover the round trip air ticket, health insurance and the entitled salary of the selected fellow during the entire fellowship programme.
  • OHCHR will financially support the selected fellow in the form of a monthly stipend during the fellowship programme.

Selection process

The applications are received on a continuous basis and 4 applicants will be selected for the term January-July and July-December for each year. Interested candidates should submit their applications, i. e. CV indicating the preferred term, letter of recommendation from their respective NHRI, and a copy of National passport, directly to: Cynthia Radert (e-mail address: [email protected]).