The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Africa Programme Fellowship for Young Professionals

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Africa Programme Fellowship for Young Professionals

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) is an independent, non-profit organisation with offices in Geneva and New York. This fellowship offers a unique opportunity to view the international and regional human rights systems 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, legal frameworks, building and leading human rights coalitions, and responding to significant and systemic human rights concerns.

The position

ISHR seeks to host a postgraduate Fellow to support our work within the Africa Programme. Working in a small team, the Fellow will have the opportunity to learn at close hand what it means to work for an international human rights advocacy organization. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to collaborate with ISHR staff in all locations.

In a year’s work with ISHR, the Fellow will gain experience monitoring a number of deliberations and negotiations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and lobbying and advocating in those fora in line with ISHR’s mandate and priorities.

The Fellow will gain hands-on experience on the application of international and regional human rights law in a multilateral human rights system, including advocacy on normative and policy advances for the protection of human rights defenders in Africa. The Fellow will also contribute to our work on capacity development and legislative protection of defenders at the national level. There may also be opportunities to work at the international level with the United Nations human rights mechanisms.


The successful fellow must:

  • Be a recent Master or LL.M graduate in human rights law, international public law or equivalent. Recent graduates from other relevant graduate-level programs will be considered as well;

  • Have working knowledge of international and regional human rights law;

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the UN human rights system, the African Union and the
    ACHPR mechanisms, as well as issues faced by human rights defenders in Africa;

  • Have strong drafting and research skills;

  • Be able to report thoroughly and accurately on meetings;

  • Be flexible and self-motivated;

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

  • Ability to effectively work remotely and independently;

  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills in French and English, both languages being mandatory for this position;

  • Knowledge of official ACHPR languages, especially Arabic and Portuguese is an advantage.
    Scope of Work

    Key tasks include:

  • Supporting research on the situation of defenders in Africa as well as the legal frameworks that protect and infringe on their rights and advocacy for policy changes;

  • Supporting the Africa Programme in preparing submissions to national, regional and international human rights mechanisms and courts;

  • Assisting with research and drafting of submissions to regional and international human rights mechanisms, including the ACHPR’s State Periodic Review, the UN Universal Periodic Review and the UN treaty bodies;

  • Representing ISHR at meetings and in coalition work with other NGOs and UN contacts;

  • Assisting with ISHR’s work with regional human rights defenders’ networks and human rights bodies at the regional level;

  • Monitoring and taking minutes at ACHPR and UN meetings;

  • Contributing to ISHR’s publications, including through drafting and editing online web articles, briefing papers, and other reports as needed.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Africa Programme Fellowship for Young Professionals

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