UNITED NATIONS OHCHR Fellowship Programmes
United Nations Fellowsip Programmes
Besides the Internship Programme of The United Nations OHCHR, 3 Fellowship Pragrammes are available :
The Indigenous Fellowship Programme
The Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) was launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the context of the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1995/2004).
The aim of the programme is to give indigenous peoples the opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights in general and indigenous issues in particular so they can assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of their people. In its first decade, more than 100 indigenous men and women from 46 countries undertook the programme. They provided human rights training to many more in their communities.
The IFP is accessible in four different languages: English, French, Spanish and Russian. The selected candidates are entitled to a return flight ticket, living expenses and basic health insurance for the duration of the training programme. The programme -in its four linguistic versions- is held annually. In 2011, a review of the IFP was undertaken and it was decided to merge all the linguistic components into one single training programme (with simultaneous interpretation) lasting from 4 to 5 weeks in Geneva. It was also decided that the date of the training programme would coincide with the sessions of the Expert Mechanisms on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, thus allowing the fellows to participate more actively in that Mechanism. OHCHR Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section – responsible for that programme – is foreseeing to complement the IFP in Geneva through the establishment of regional training components, which will prepare the participants to the Geneva session.
Who can apply?
1. 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).
2. Age should not be a limitation to participation in the programme.
3. 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.
4. Candidates should agree to train other indigenous persons after the return to their respective communities/organizations.
5. 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.
6. The candidate should have a good working knowledge of the language, in which the programme is imparted.
The selection of fellows reflects a gender and a regional balance. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration.
A pre-selection of up to 15 candidates (priority and alternates) is made by previous indigenous fellows. The final selection of successful candidates is undertaken by an advisory group composed of indigenous persons.
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The Monorities Fellowship Programme
The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) was launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2005.
Through this Programme, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities an opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The Fellowship Programme is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities the fellows belong to.
The MFP is held annually and currently has two linguistic versions: The English language programme has been running since 2005 and the Arabic language programme started in 2007. The duration of the programmes varied until 2011, when both programmes were decided to last 5 weeks and coincide with the session of the Forum on Minority Issues.
The Fellows are based at the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland. The programme is interactive and consists of briefings on several topics (e.g. the UN system, OHCHR's work, human rights mechanisms and instruments) as well as individual and group assignments.
At the end of the Programme, all Fellows should have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms in general and those relevant to minorities in particular and be capable of further training their communities/organizations.
Fellows are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; and a grant to cover modest accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the Programme and other living expenses.
Who can apply?
1. The candidate must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic or religious minority group (persons who do not belong to a minority group will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with minority communities and/or organizations)
How to apply?
Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II must be signed and faxed, sent by regular post or scanned and E-mailed to the following address:
Minorities Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Telefax number: (+41 22) 928 90 66
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Staff of National Human Rights Institutions
The aim of the Fellowship programme, organized by the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section 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. 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 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.
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Ms. Navanethem Pillay
Ms. Pillay was born in 1941 in a poor neighborhood of Durban, Natal Province, Union of South Africa. She is of Tamil descent and her father was a bus driver. She married Gaby Pillay, a lawyer, in January 1965.
Supported by her local Indian community with donations, she graduated from the University of Natal with a BA in 1963 and an LLB in 1965. She later attended Harvard Law School, obtaining an LLM in 1982 and a Doctor of Juridical Science degree in 1988. Pillay is the first South African to obtain a doctorate in law from Harvard Law School.
In 1967, Pillay became the first non-white woman to open her own law practice in Natal Province. She says she had no other alternative: "No law firm would employ me because they said they could not have white employees taking instructions from a coloured person". As a non-white lawyer under the Apartheid regime, she was not allowed to enter a judge's chambers.
During her 28 years as a lawyer in South Africa, she defended anti-Apartheid activists and helped expose the use of torture and poor conditions of political detainees. When her husband was detained under the Apartheid laws, she successfully sued to prevent the police from using unlawful methods of interrogation against him. In 1973, she won the right for political prisoners on Robben Island, including Nelson Mandela, to have access to lawyers. She co-founded the Advice Desk for the Abused and ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence. As a member of the Women’s National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion in South Africa’s Constitution of an equality clause prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation. In 1992, she co-founded the international women's rights group Equality Now.
In 1995, the year after the African National Congress came to power, Mandela nominated Pillay as the first non-white woman to serve on the High Court of South Africa. She noted that "the first time I entered a judge's chambers was when I entered my own."
Her tenure on the High Court was short, however, as she was soon elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as a judge at theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). She served for eight years, including four years as president. She was the only female judge for the first four years of the tribunal. Her tenure on the ICTR is best remembered for her role in the landmark trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, which established that rape and sexual assault could constitute acts of genocide. Pillay said in an interview, "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong signal that rape is no longer a trophy of war."
In February 2003, she was elected to the first ever panel of judges of the International Criminal Court and assigned to the Appeals Division. She was elected to a six-year term, but resigned in August 2008 in order to take up her position with the UN.
Ms. Navanethem Pillay
Navanethem "Navi" Pillay (born 23 September 1941) is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A South African of Indian Tamil origin, she was the first non-white woman on the High Court of South Africa, and she has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Courtand President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Her four-year term as High Commissioner for Human Rights began on 1 September 2008 and was extended an additional two years in 2012.
In South Africa, as a member of the Women's National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion of the equality clause in the country’s Constitution that prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. She co-founded Equality Now, an international women's rights organization, and has been involved with other organizations working on issues relating to children, detainees, victims of torture and of domestic violence, and a range of economic, social and cultural rights.
Ms. Pillay received a BA and a LLB from Natal University South Africa. She also holds a Master of Law and a Doctorate of Juridical Science from Harvard University. She was born in 1941, and has two daughters. .
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About The OHCHR
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. We have a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.
The General Assembly | The Security Council | The Economic and Social Council | The Trusteeship Council | The International Court of Justice | The Secretariat |
The United Nations (UN; French: Organisation des Nations Unies, ONU) is an international organization whose stated aims include promoting and facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, political freedoms, democracy, and the achievement of lasting world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organization has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the United Nations Trusteeship Council (which is currently inactive). Other prominent UN System agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most prominent position is that of the office ofSecretary-General which has been held by Ban Ki-moon of South Korea since 2007. NGOs may be granted consultative status with ECOSOCand other agencies to participate in the UN's work.
The United Nations Headquarters resides in international territory in New York City, with further main offices at Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states, and has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
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In 194S there were 51 Member States. To see the growth : In 1960 : 99 Member States | 1970 : 127 Member States | 1980 : 154 Member States | 1990 : 159 Member States | 2000 : 189 Member States | 2011 : 193 Member States .
United Nations Secretariat Building | New York City
Secretary - General Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations in brief & How The United Nations Works
The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 193 countries.
When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:
to maintain international peace and security;
to develop friendly relations among nations;
to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.