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OHCHR Minorities Fellowship

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Through this Programme, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities – particularly young minority women and men – an opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The Fellowship Programme is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities the fellows belong to.

The Fellows are based at the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland. The programme is interactive and consists of briefings on several topics (e.g. the UN system, OHCHR’s work, human rights mechanisms and instruments) as well as individual and group assignments.At the end of the Programme, all Fellow should have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms in general and those relevant to minorities in particular and be capable of further training their communities/organizations.Fellows are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; and a grant to cover modest accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the Programme and other living expenses.

Who can apply?

  1. The candidate must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic or religious minority group (persons who do not belong to a minority group will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with minority communities and/or organizations)
    NOTE: If your community identifies as indigenous, please do not apply to this programme but to our indigenous fellowship programme instead (see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/fellowship.htm). Please note that the indigenous fellowship is a separate programme and has different application forms and deadlines.
  2. Age should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, although preference initially will be given to candidates between 25 – 35 years.
  3. Formal education should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, if relevant experience can be demonstrated.
  4. Candidates should have ability, willingness and possibility to train other persons belonging to minorities upon return to their respective communities/organizations and should agree to do so.
  5. The candidates must have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted (i.e. English for the English programme and Arabic for the Arabic programme).
  6. The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her organization and/or community. It is desirable that the sponsoring organization has a firm constituency or membership, is representative, undertakes work on minority issues and is composed of persons belonging to minorities.
  7. The overall goal of the Minorities Fellowship Programme is to offer persons belonging to minorities the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the field of international human rights in order to assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting human and minority rights. Therefore, it is important that the candidate proposed and nominated by a minority organization or community be someone who will return to his or her NGO to work in this field.

Selection process
The selection of fellows reflects a gender and regional balance. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration as is the situation of the minority community to which the applicant belongs to.

For the English programme, a pre-selection of 15 (first five preferences and 10 alternates) candidates is made by previous minority fellows. The final selection of successful candidates is undertaken by an advisory group composed of OHCHR staff. As the Arabic programme expands in the future, similar selection process will be established.

How to apply?
Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II must be signed and faxed, sent by regular post or scanned and E-mailed to the following address:
Minorities Fellowship Programme, Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Palais des Nations8-14 Avenue de la PaixCH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. Telefax number: (+41 22) 928 90 66, E-mail: minorityfellowships@ohchr.org

Click here to download Application form

More information: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/minorities/fellowprog.htm#english

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