Job Opening

Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 19 May 2021 - 02 July 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-155017-R-Geneva (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Special Procedures Branch (SPB) in the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Rights to Development Division (TESPRDD) in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. The Human Rights Officer reports to the Chief of Groups and Accountability Section and the Chief of the Special Procedures Branch.


Within delegated authority, the Human Rights Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

• Monitors the situation regarding the situation of human rights issues worldwide relevant to the assigned mandates through research and analysis of incoming information from governments, IGOs (Intergovernmental Organizations), UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) and individuals;
• Assists the mandate-holder (Special Rapporteur) in fact-finding missions, including preparation of the mission, drafting of mission reports and follow up to the implementation of the recommendations;
• Provides support to the mandate-holder in preparing thematic seminars and consultations to seek expert views on themes of relevance to the assigned mandate, and drafting of the annual reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly, if applicable;
• Follows up on implementation of decisions rendered by policy-making organs and prepares a work-plan which is coherent with the Branch work-plan and the responsibilities assigned;
• Prepares correspondence for the mandate-holder with governments, IGOs, UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as NGOs and individuals;
• Drafts oral presentations for the annual reports, as well as other presentations and other articles on the mandate;
• Prepares thematic seminars and consultations to seek expert views on themes of relevance to the assigned mandate;
• Provides substantive inputs into OHCHR's policies and statements in areas relevant to the mandate and the assigned area of work;
• Liaises with OHCHR thematic and geographic desk officers and with other human rights conventional and extra-conventional mechanism;
• Liaises with representatives of governments, IGOs, UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as NGOs and individuals in connection with the mandate and representing OHCHR at working level meetings with those partners;
• Undertakes research relating to the mandate;
• Oversees the provision of administrative support to the mandate holder;
• Provides guidance to new/junior staff;
• Performs any other related duties, as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues, to include approaches and techniques to address sensitive problems; Knowledge of and exposure to institutional mandate, policies and guidelines; Knowledge of issues related to specific groups as well as to civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; sound knowledge of problems, i.e. political, ethnic, racial, gender, social, economic, etc., having a negative impact on the enjoyment of all human rights; Analytical and research skills; sound judgement and negotiating skills. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

COMMUNICATION: 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in law, human rights, political science or international relations, or other related disciplines. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible work experience in human rights is required.
A minimum of one year of work experience with the UN human rights programmes and mechanisms is also required.
Experience in human rights monitoring, reporting and/or investigating is desirable.
Experience in legal analysis and drafting official reports is also desirable.
Experience organizing visits, events, seminars or conferences for various stakeholders in the field is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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