Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!

Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!

Are you passionate about making a difference in the world of human rights? Do you aspire to work with a prestigious international organization dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights globally? If so, we have an incredible opportunity for you! The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is currently seeking an Associate Human Rights Officer to join their team in Geneva. This temporary job opening offers a unique chance to contribute to the Human Rights Council and gain invaluable experience in human rights affairs.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (HRCTMD), Human Rights Council Branch, Geneva. The incumbent will work under the general supervision of the Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch and the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Human Rights Council.

Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!
Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!

Key Responsibilities

As an Associate Human Rights Officer, you will play a crucial role in supporting the Human Rights Council (HRC) and its subsidiary bodies. Your responsibilities will include:

Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!

Organizational Support

One of the core responsibilities of the Associate Human Rights Officer is to assist in the organization and provide substantive and technical support to the regular and special sessions of the Human Rights Council (HRC), informal consultations, and other meetings. This involves meticulous planning and coordination to ensure that sessions run smoothly and achieve their objectives. The role requires a deep understanding of the procedural and substantive aspects of the HRC’s work.

You will be involved in preparing agendas, coordinating with various stakeholders, arranging meeting logistics, and ensuring that all necessary documents and materials are prepared and distributed in a timely manner. This support is critical in facilitating the effective functioning of the HRC, enabling it to address pressing human rights issues and make informed decisions.

Research and Analysis

A significant part of the role involves conducting research and collecting information on human rights matters, including their gender dimensions, from a variety of data sources such as communications, publications, and the press. Keeping abreast of the latest developments in human rights issues is essential for providing up-to-date information and informed analysis.

The Associate Human Rights Officer will analyze the collected information to understand its impact on countries and thematic mandates related to human rights. This analysis will help identify trends, challenges, and opportunities in the field of human rights, contributing to the development of informed strategies and policies.


Drafting a variety of reports and correspondence related to the Council is a key responsibility. This includes preparing detailed analytical notes on the discussions and outcomes of the HRC and its subsidiary bodies and mechanisms. Accurate and comprehensive reporting is crucial for documenting the work of the Council and ensuring transparency and accountability.

You will also be responsible for drafting correspondence with various stakeholders, including States, NGOs, and other UN agencies. Clear and effective communication is essential for maintaining good relations and facilitating cooperation among different actors involved in human rights work.

Participation and Documentation

The Associate Human Rights Officer will participate in hearings and consultations, prepare summaries of results, and maintain awareness of current human rights issues. Active participation in these events provides valuable insights and helps in understanding the perspectives of different stakeholders.

Documenting the proceedings of hearings and consultations ensures that there is a comprehensive record of the discussions and decisions made. This documentation is vital for future reference and for informing subsequent actions and policies.

Training and Capacity Building

Promoting national capacity building is an important aspect of the role. You will participate in human rights training programs for States, representatives of civil society, and human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These training programs aim to enhance the understanding and capacity of these actors to address human rights issues effectively.

By providing training and capacity building, the Associate Human Rights Officer contributes to strengthening the ability of national and local actors to promote and protect human rights within their respective contexts. This, in turn, helps to create a more robust and resilient human rights framework at the national level.


Working with other Human Rights Officers (HROs) to integrate human rights issues into political, humanitarian, and economic programs is another key responsibility. Collaboration and coordination are essential for ensuring that human rights considerations are mainstreamed into all aspects of the UN’s work.

You will engage in discussions with HROs on the role of the HRC in preventing human rights violations and seeking remedial action by authorities to prevent similar violations in the future. This collaborative approach helps to create a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for addressing human rights issues.

Database Management

Designing and maintaining databases to track project progress is an important part of the role. Effective database management ensures that all relevant information is systematically recorded and easily accessible. This helps in monitoring the progress of projects, identifying any issues or delays, and making informed decisions to ensure the successful completion of projects.

Additional Duties

The Associate Human Rights Officer may also be required to perform other related duties as needed. This flexibility allows you to contribute to various aspects of the HRC’s work and gain a broad range of experience in human rights affairs.

Required Competencies

To succeed in this role, you should possess the following competencies:


Professionalism is at the core of the role. You should have a thorough knowledge of human rights issues and the ability to identify related problems in their political, ethnic, racial, gender equality, and socio-economic dimensions. Understanding the institutional mandates of human rights organizations and prevailing policies and procedures is essential.

You should possess strong research and analytical skills, including the ability to identify and participate in the resolution of human rights issues. The ability to identify sources for data collection, analyze information, and draft comprehensive human rights reports is crucial.

A high level of professional competence and mastery of the subject matter is expected. You should be conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results. Being motivated by professional rather than personal concerns, showing persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges, and remaining calm in stressful situations are important attributes.

You should also take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management is also important.

Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!
Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!


Strong communication skills are essential for the role. You should be able to speak and write clearly and effectively, listen to others, correctly interpret messages from others, and respond appropriately. Asking questions to clarify, exhibiting interest in having two-way communication, and tailoring language, tone, style, and format to match the audience are important aspects of effective communication.

Demonstrating openness in sharing information and keeping people informed is crucial for fostering a collaborative and transparent work environment.


The ability to work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals is essential. You should value others’ ideas and expertise, be willing to learn from others, and place the team agenda before personal agenda. Supporting and acting in accordance with final group decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect your own position, is important for maintaining team cohesion.

Sharing credit for team accomplishments and accepting joint responsibility for team shortcomings are also key aspects of effective teamwork.

Educational and Professional Requirements

To be considered for this position, you should meet the following educational and professional requirements:


You should have an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, political science, international relations, social sciences, or a related field. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

A first-level university degree and no experience will be accepted for candidates who have passed the Young Professionals Programme Examination (YPP), the United Nations National Competitive Recruitment Examination (NCRE), or the General Service to Professional Examination (G to P).

Work Experience

A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, law, or a related area is required. No experience is needed for candidates who have passed a United Nations Competitive Recruitment Examination.

Experience in servicing meetings of a UN intergovernmental body is desirable. Experience in servicing UN human rights mechanisms is also desirable.

Language Requirements

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English or French (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of the other language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview. This multi-step assessment process ensures that the most suitable candidates are selected for the position.

Special Notice

This position is temporarily available until December 31, 2024, with the possibility of extension subject to the availability of funds. The following special notices apply to this temporary job opening:

  • A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent, or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above their current grade.
  • A current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position.


  • A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories.


  • If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
  • While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.


  • Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
  • This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.


  • Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.


  • Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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 offense 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 offenses 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.

Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request to support their participation in the recruitment process. By accepting a letter of appointment, staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c).

Further, staff members in the Professional and higher category up to and including the D-2 level and the Field Service category are normally required to move periodically to discharge functions in different duty stations under conditions established in ST/AI/2023/3 on Mobility, as may be amended or revised. This condition of service applies to all position-specific job openings and does not apply to temporary positions.

Applicants are urged to carefully follow all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira, and to refer to the Applicant Guide by clicking on “Manuals” in the “Help” tile 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.

No Fee


How to Apply

If you are ready to take on this exciting challenge and meet the qualifications and requirements, we encourage you to apply for this position. To apply, please visit the United Nations careers portal and submit your application online by July 7, 2024.

The United Nations is committed to diversity and inclusion, and we encourage applications from all qualified candidates regardless of gender, race, religion, cultural background, or disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to applicants with disabilities to support their participation in the recruitment process.

Join us in our mission to uphold human rights and contribute to a better world. Apply now and be a part of the United Nations team in Geneva!


Associate Human Rights Officer, Human Rights Council, OHCHR, United Nations, social sciences, human rights affairs, international relations, law, political science, social sciences, human rights affairs, UN intergovernmental body, human rights mechanisms, human rights issues, gender dimensions, capacity building, international organization, diversity and inclusion, temporary job opening, career opportunity.


Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!
Exciting Career Opportunity: Join the United Nations as an Associate Human Rights Officer!



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