Organization: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Website and contact information:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Location of headquarters:
Mandate and/or mission statement:
The mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is 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.
In carrying out its mission OHCHR will:
Give priority to addressing the most pressing human rights violations, both acute and chronic, particularly those that put life in imminent peril;
Focus attention on those who are at risk and vulnerable on multiple fronts;
Pay equal attention to the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights, including the right to development; and
Measure the impact of its work through the substantive benefit that is accrued, through it, to individuals around the world.
OHCHR, a department of the United Nations Secretariat, is guided in its work by the mandate provided by the General Assembly in resolution 48/141, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights instruments, the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.
Operationally, OHCHR works with governments, legislatures, courts, national institutions, civil society, regional and international organizations, and the United Nations system to develop and strengthen capacity, particularly at the national level, for the protection of human rights in accordance with international norms.
Institutionally, OHCHR is committed to strengthening the United Nations human rights programme and to providing it with the highest quality support. OHCHR is committed to working closely with its United Nations partners to ensure that human rights form the bedrock of the work of the United Nations.
Relevant programs and projects:
Executive Office, Treaties and Commissions Branch, Special Procedures Branch, Research and Right to Development Branch, Capacity Building and Field Operations Branch, Other Units and Services (Administrative Service, Resource Mobilization Unit, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Public Information Unit, Public Affairs Unit, Information Management)
Current head/director (and nationality):
Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada
Number of Member States and/or Observer States:
192 Member States in the UN
$245.6 million ($85.6 million from UN regular budget) (2006-2007)
Number and location of missions or field offices:
33 Field Presences (6 regional offices, 1 regional HR center, 13 country offices, 9 human rights components of peace missions, 4 human rights advisors)
Number of employees:
576 staff (as of 1 January 2005)
See Job Classification Standards in the United Nations
Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?
OHCHR Vacancy Announcements
UN Human Resources Galaxy e-Staffing System
What is the job application process?
1. P-11 form (or ) for vacancies listed on OHCHR website
2. UN Human Resources Galaxy e-Staffing System
Does this organization take volunteers?
Yes, through UN Volunteers. See Vacancy Announcement for more information.
What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for volunteers in this organization?
University Degree (Bachelors or equivalent) preferably in law, political science, international relations or other disciplines related to human rights.
Experience: At least 3 years of progressively responsible work experience in assigned geographic locations at national and international levels in the human rights field, including in the cause and resolution of human rights conflicts in accordance with international standards.
Language: Fluency in English and/or French, depending on the country of assignment. Knowledge of local language of country of assignment an asset. Register application through UN Volunteers.
Application process: Join the Online Volunteer Service
Basic requirements for Online volunteers: The UNV OV service is open to all people worldwide that are beyond the age of legal majority according to the law in their respective countries. In principle, everyone who is motivated, has the required profile for an online volunteering assignment, and has a regular access to the Internet can apply.
Online application for professionals and humanitarian aid specialists
Basic requirements for UN Volunteers:
A university degree or higher technical diplomas;
Several years of relevant working experience;
At least age 25 (no maximum age limit);
Good working knowledge in at least one of the three working UN languages: English, French and Spanish;
Strong commitment to values and principles of volunteerism;
Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
Ability to adjust in difficult living conditions;
Strong interpersonal and organizational skills;
Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.
Does this organization take interns?
What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for interns in this organization?
Participants up to 30 years old in the internship programme are selected from graduate students and holders of graduate level degrees in disciplines related to the work of the United Nations, e.g. International Law, Political Science, History, Social Sciences. Preference will be given to those, within these disciplines, who have specialized in human rights issues. Typically, interns do not have previous working experience of this nature. Applicants must be sponsored by an academic institution and must have a good command of at least two of the six official languages of the United Nations, i.e. English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese. Drafting ability in either English or French is required. Participants up to 30 years old in the internship programme are selected from graduate students and holders of graduate level degrees in disciplines related to the work of the United Nations, e.g. International Law, Political Science, History, Social Sciences. Preference will be given to those, within these disciplines, who have specialized in human rights issues. Typically, interns do not have previous working experience of this nature. Applicants must be sponsored by an academic institution and must have a good command of at least two of the six official languages of the United Nations, i.e. English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese. Drafting ability in either English or French is required. Applicants should submit a covering letter stating the reason for applying to the internship programme, indicating the benefits which are expected to be derived from the internship and career goals; a duly completed and signed internship application form; a list of courses taken and transcripts of grades; sample of their research work. Closing dates for applications are 30 April for the May/June selection and 31 October for the November/December selection.
What are the basic requirements for prospective applicants?
Varies with specific positions.