United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Geneva: Human Rights Unit

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) seeks to help children, especially those in developing countries, through community-based projects to improve primary health care and access to safe water sanitation, nutrition and basic essentials.

UNICEF Human Rights Unit is responsible for facilitating the interaction of UNICEF HQ, Regional Offices and Country Offices with the human rights mechanisms in Geneva, in particular the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Human Rights Council, but also other treaty bodies, Special Procedures and the OHCHR. The team forms part of UNICEF's global section responsible for gender and human rights issues, but deals primarily with human rights, not gender.

Nature of the Extern's Work and Supervision
Interns assist the team in covering the wide range of activities the team is responsible for, preparing written notes and summaries, and providing feedback as needed in relation to treaty body and Human Rights Council sessions.  In addition, interns are required to undertake legal research and analyses on various topics of relevance to UNICEF's work.

While the precise tasks of interns vary, taking into account the schedule of treaty bodies, the regular and special sessions of the Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Reviews, as well as the specific skills, competencies and areas of interest of the respective intern, the main tasks in which interns at our section are involved are the following:

  • Attend CRC, CEDAW and CRPD sessions and pre-sessions; and preparing internal notes for the record to share with the UNICEF country offices concerned; and monitor sessions of other treaty bodies on behalf of UNICEF, on an ad hoc basis;
  • Participate as observers in the sessions of the Human Rights Council, as well as in other meetings organized in parallel to the Council sessions, informal consultations on draft resolutions, as well as any special Council meetings throughout the year, and preparation of reports;
  • Participate as observers in the sessions of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Reviews;
  • Participate in meetings with UN and civil society partners as well as Permanent Missions, in relation to child rights issues, as well as, where occasions arise, briefings by UNICEF field and technical staff;
  • Assist in liaising with other stakeholders on joint initiatives and common efforts related to human rights (UN agencies, NGOs, experts);
  • Conduct substantive research and analysis, when required, on children's rights;
  • Draft correspondence, summaries, notes, and other documents as requested;
  • Assist in other activities as required.

Important Information for Students

Knowledge and/or experience in the field of human rights, and particularly children's rights will be highly valued.

  • Fluency in English is a prerequisite, and knowledge of another UN language, in particular Spanish, would be an asset.
  • While not being a formal requirement, any relevant work experience will of course also be taken into account in the selection of interns.

To learn more about UNICEF, please visit their website.