Human Rights Officer

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights , Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
23rd February, 2021

Job Description

This position is located in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in the Women’s Rights and Gender Section (WRGS), Rule of Law, Democracy and Non-Discrimination Branch, Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division in Geneva. The incumbent reports to the Chief of Section (WRGS) or designated staff.


Within delegated authority, the Human Rights Officer, in close consultation with the Coordinator of the OHCHR Gender Accreditation Programme will be responsible for the following duties:

  •  Assists in the implementation of activities related to the new OHCHR Gender Accreditation Programme.
  •  Conducts substantive research and analysis of human rights issues/events and assesses their impact on the human rights situation in assigned region or country.
  •  Collects and analyses human rights data and indicators in country/region of assignment, including gender-specific data and indicators.
  •  Provides support to sub-commissions, commissions and other bodies; follows-up on implementation of decisions rendered by policy-making bodies.
  •  Ensures human rights issues, including their gender equality dimensions considerations, are integrated into political, humanitarian and economic efforts and programme.
  •  Defines work plan for area assigned in accordance with established terms of reference.
  •  Integrates gender into field work.
  •  Represents UN human rights programme at working level meetings.
  •  Assists capacity-building efforts on human rights and gender in region/country of assignment.
  •  Writes a variety of reports, communications, briefings, statements, etc., including to policy-making bodies.
  •  May provide guidance to new/junior staff.
  •  Performs other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of human rights issues and ability to identify related problems in their political, ethnic, racial, gender equality and socio-economic dimensions. Knowledge of institutional mandates of human rights organizations, prevailing policies and procedures in the area of women’s rights and gender equality. Research and analytical skills, including ability to identify and participate in the resolution of human rights issues. Ability to identify sources for data collection, research and analyze information and draft human rights reports. Ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the human rights situation and gender equality in the area of assignment. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently


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


  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, law or related area is required.
  • Experience in the area of women’s rights and gender equality is desirable.
  • Experience in designing, managing and delivering training is desirable.


  • 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 is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is also desirable.


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