Programme Internship – New York Office

Closing date

Length: 17 January 2022 – 29 April 2022 with possibility of extension

Percentage: Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Based in: New York, USA – possibility to undertake the internship remotely should Covid-19 restrictions necessitate it

Reports to: New York Office Co-Directors

Applications close: 26 September 2021 (Midnight NYC time)

ISHR is an independent, non-profit organisation with offices in Geneva and New York.

This internship position offers a unique opportunity to view the United Nations human rights system at work. It provides hands-on experience working for an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) as well as the opportunity to contribute to our work supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, building and leading human rights coalitions, and responding to significant and systemic human rights concerns. For more information, consult our website

Key tasks

● Providing support to programme staff in the implementation of project activities, across ISHR’s strategic programme areas;

● Contributing to ISHR’s outreach and communications, including regular online publications;

● Monitoring and reporting on UN and regional human rights meetings, including the ECOSOC’s NGO Committee and the Commission on the Status of Women;

● Approximately 15-20% of the work will be administrative in nature, including assisting with the organisation and preparation of events and meetings.

Training and Opportunities:

● Interns are fully included in staff meetings, both New York Office meetings as well as all of staff meetings (virtual), which provide a comprehensive understanding of the work of an international human rights NGO;

● Interns have opportunities to interact and network with human rights defenders, diplomats and other UN and NGO professionals both at the United Nations and at ISHR’s office (or remotely) during meetings;

● Where appropriate or necessary for their work, ISHR staff will provide practical sessions and guidance, for example on monitoring UN mechanisms, drafting reports and advocacy documents, utilizing communications technologies, etc.

● Interns will be supervised by the New York Office Co-Directors, and supported in achieving their learning objectives through regular check-ins.


To be considered, applicants should:

● be an advanced undergraduate student or graduate student in international relations, law, international public law, human rights or a related field, or have recently completed such studies;

● be motivated to pursue a career in human rights and have a particular interest in the UN and regional human rights systems;

● have an excellent level of written and spoken English;

● be detail-oriented and attentive to nuance, in particular in diplomatic environments;

● be motivated, autonomous and a self-starter, and comfortable occasionally working with limited supervision;

● be able to work as a member of an international and multicultural team and willing to participate in a variety of tasks, as required;

be authorized to work in the U.S.

Additional Skills

ISHR is particularly interested in candidates who also have the following skills or experiences:

● Advanced to fluent Spanish and/or French and/or Chinese language;

● Interest or background, including activism in, corporate accountability, environmental rights, women’s rights, and/or LGBTIQ+ rights;

● Capacity to research and draft legal briefs;

● Interest or background in training and capacity building, including online learning;

● Logistics, travel and event planning.

Internship modalities

The internship will be in person, in ISHR’s New York office. However, ISHR will consider applicants who are unable to travel or work on-site due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please indicate in your application whether you will be able to work on-site or wish to be considered for a remote position.

The internship is expected to be a full-time (37.5 hours per week) position with the possibility of an extension.


● On-site internships will receive a USD500/month stipend.

● Remote internships will receive a USD250/month stipend.

Equal opportunity

ISHR is firmly committed to having a diverse team and to the principle of equal employment opportunity. ISHR's policy is to practice fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and selection procedures and strive for international and multicultural personnel. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics.

We particularly welcome applications from underrepresented groups, including women, persons of colour, LGBTIQ+ candidates, persons with disabilities and other groups.

How to apply

Interested candidates can apply by submitting a cover letter, a CV (no profile picture please) and a writing sample here.

In their cover letter, candidates should demonstrate their commitment to human rights and social change.

Application deadline: 26 September 2021 (midnight, NYC time).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Privacy policy

All applications will be handled in accordance with ISHR’s Privacy Policy.