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Human Rights Intern

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the Secretariat Department responsible for strengthening international human rights mechanisms; Enhancing equality and countering discrimination; Combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law; Integrating human rights in development and in the economic sphere; Widening the democratic space; and Early warning and protection of human rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity.

This announcement broadcasts international OHCHR internship assignments situated within the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). In March 2014, at the invitation of the Government of Ukraine and in response to developments in the country, the UN Secretary-General deployed a human rights monitoring team. HRMMU monitors, reports and advocates on the human rights situation in Ukraine with a special focus on the east and Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation (hereafter Crimea), and on the issue of accountability. As the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine escalated, HRMMU has additionally engaged in protection, advocacy and capacity-building throughout the country, including in areas directly affected by the conflict. HRMMU has offices in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Kyiv, Mariupol and Odesa with Human rights monitoring for Crimea carried out by teams based in Kyiv and Odesa.

As a major change in 2020, and incorporating indivisibility approach among all human rights, HRMMU works on establishment of system for monitoring and reporting on impact of conflict-related economic policies on enjoyment Economic Social and Cultural Rights of the affected people in the East of Ukraine. This will help to address issues of economic inequalities in the context of the UN sustainable development cooperation framework. Such approach builds on the core SDG concept of equitable development for all, ‘leaving no one behind’ and the key message to ‘reach the furthest behind first, as well as addressing gender as a cross-cutting issue.

Based in Kyiv, Ukraine (or another family duty station), under the overall guidance of the Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, the intern reports to the respective OHCHR Human Rights Officer within the area of assignment. This internship assignment may be offered for an initial period of thee (3) months, renewable for a combined period of six (6) months, upon further approval by the supervisor, with a commencement date ranging/starting from September 2020 to September 2021.

This internship is an UNPAID and full-time engagement that provides a framework through which students from diverse academic backgrounds gain exposure to the work of the United Nations by way of their service within Secretariat entities. Applicants should have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations with a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter, and have the demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs - which includes willingness to understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.


The intern shall support OHCHR in fulfilling its mission: to work for the protection of all human rights for all people; to help empower people to realize their rights; and to assist those responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented.

Daily responsibilities of United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine will depend on the individual’s background and duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting in researching, collecting, documenting and analyzing information pertaining to the human rights situation in Crimea;
  • Contributing to the team’s daily, weekly, monthly, thematic and special issues/ad hoc reports on the human rights situation;
  • Conducting media and social media monitoring in relation to the human rights situation in Crimea;
  • Helping identify emerging and evolving trends of human rights concerns and violations, as well as response and capacity gaps, and participating in the development of a strategy to respond to the situation;
  • Drafting briefing, analytical documents and contribute to the production of documentation and other reports in consultation with the supervisor and relevant colleagues;
  • Assisting with retrieving relevant human rights data from open sources, including case law registries, official government statistics, and various public databases;
  • Assisting with building and maintaining contacts with relevant interlocutors, including liaison with national and international NGOs
  • In consultation with the supervisor, helping to ensure that the tasks are performed in compliance with relevant standards and methods of work, including for protection and safe handling of information;
  • Undertaking other tasks as requested by the supervisor, as appropriate.



  • Shows pride in work and in achievements;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter;
  • Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
  • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges;
  • Remains calm in stressful situations.


  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively;
  • listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately;
  • asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication;
  • tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience;
  • demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals;
  • solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise;
  • is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda;
  • supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position;
  • shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be ‘clients’ and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view;
  • establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect;
  • identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions;
  • monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems;
  • keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects;
  • meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


To qualify for the United Nations Secretariat internship programme applicants must, at the time of their submission, be enrolled in the final academic year of a first-level university degree programme (i.e. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree); be enrolled in a graduate school programme (i.e. Master’s degree or equivalent degree, or higher) or have completed an aforementioned academic degree, preferably in the area of law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related field, AND, if selected, must commence the internship on the date indicated in the acceptance letter

Work Experience


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship fluency in English is required. Fluency in Ukrainian is an advantage. Knowledge of Russian is an asset.


Incomplete applications/personal history profiles (PHPs) will not be reviewed. OHCHR/Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine hiring managers will directly contact short-listed applicants for an interview. For this reason, in the application cover letter it is important that you:

  • Specify your general interest in OHCHR, including in international human rights issues, norms, standards, methodologies, policies and mechanisms of the United Nations human rights system, including in the work of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine;
  • Indicate recently obtained academic degree or the scheduled graduation for university study currently underway;
  • Specify your period of availability and earliest commencement date; and
  • Indicate information technology (IT) skills and programs in which you are proficient.

Please follow the below link to review the original vacancy announcement and to apply:


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