International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Programme Internships 69 views

Type of Funding

Partially funded




The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) is inviting advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in international relations, law, human rights, etc. to apply for the ISHR Programme Internships, which offer interns the opportunity to view the United Nations human rights system at work in Geneva. Interns will get hands-on experience working for an international NGO and contribute to ISHR’s work supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, building and leading human rights coalitions, and responding to significant and systemic human rights concerns.

Applicants have to indicate 1 of the following preferred start dates:

  • 1 September 2019
  • January/February 2020
  • April/May 2020
  • End of August 2020.

Interns will:

  • Assist with ISHR’s training and advocacy support to human rights defenders and networks globally;
  • Support key programme staff in the implementation of project activities;
  • Contribute to ISHR’s outreach and communications, including regular online publications;
  • Monitor and report on UN human rights meetings, including the Human Rights Council, treaty body sessions and Universal Periodic Review; and
  • Undertake administrative work.

Interns will benefit from training and opportunities to interact and network with human rights defenders, diplomats or other UN and NGO professionals both at the United Nations and at ISHR’s office.


Interns are not remunerated; however, ISHR will pay for a monthly bus pass in Geneva, accident insurance, and a weekly meal allowance during major UN meetings (e.g., the Human Rights Council). ISHR will assist in obtaining the relevant work permits. Non-EU students requiring a work permit should apply with a start date 4 to 6 months after the internship application is submitted.


Applicants must be advanced undergraduate students or graduate students in international relations, law, human rights or a related field. They should be keen on pursuing a career in human rights and have a particular interest in the UN human rights system. They need to be proficient in English.

ISHR is looking for individuals who are detail-oriented and attentive to nuance, in particular in diplomatic environments. They have to be motivated and are self-starters who are able to work autonomously, and are comfortable occasionally working with limited supervision. They need to be able to work together with an international and multicultural team and willing to participate in a variety of tasks.

For the 1 September 2019 start date, ISHR is looking for a French-speaking and English-speaking person (mother
tongue level of French), who is preferably already based in Geneva or neighboring France.

For internships with 2020 start dates, ISHR is particularly interested in candidates who also possess:

  • Advanced to fluent proficiency in Spanish or French language;
  • Minimum intermediate proficiency in Chinese (Mandarin) language;
  • Interest or background and activism in, corporate accountability, women’s rights, or LGBTI rights;
  • Logistics, travel and event planning skills or experience;
  • Legal drafting and research skills or experience, including that in treaty body jurisprudence; and
  • Background in fundraising.


Applications are to be done online by 15 October 2019.

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