Paid Fellowship for People of African Descent (Contingent upon funding)

Organization: International Service for Human Rights
Closing date: 25 Sep 2022

Length: 10 months starting 1 February 2023 until 30 November 2023

Work percentage: Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Location: home-based

Reports to: Human Rights Council Programme Manager

Applications close: 25 September 2022, Midnight Geneva time


The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) is an independent, non-profit organisation with offices in Geneva and New York. This Fellowship offers an opportunity to engage with the United Nations human rights system to promote racial justice. It provides hands-on experience working for an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), contributing to our work supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, building human rights coalitions, and responding to significant and systemic human rights concerns. For more information, consult our website

The position

ISHR Geneva office is offering a full-time 10-month paid Fellowship to People of African descent. The Fellow will focus on working with and supporting a civil society coalition to enhance accountability at the UN for systemic racism and police violence against Africans and people of African Descent.


In order to ensure that discussions at the UN on racial justice and equality for Africans and people of African Descent, especially in the context of law enforcement, are relevant and useful to advance positive progress, they must include directly impacted communities and reflect their demands. In this context, ISHR is hiring a Fellow of African Descent over the period of 10 months to learn and actively participate in the process of UN advocacy and to assist the civil society coalition Coordinator and the ISHR Human Rights Council Programme Manager in the coalition’s work on enhancing accountability at the UN for systematic racism and police violence against Africans and people of African Descent.

Key tasks

The Fellow will be part of a team of four and will support ISHR and the coalition Coordinator in:

  • Developing communications material including creating and maintaining social media and writing newsletters;
  • Updating the coalition website with information on UN opportunities and resources for civil society to engage with the UN;
  • Assisting in the creation and implementation of an effective communication´s strategy for the coalition;
  • Facilitating the engagement of coalition members at the UN including supporting advocacy with UN human rights mechanisms and States’ representatives, and participation at the UN Human Rights Council sessions and other UN spaces;
  • Organising coalition campaigns, including liaising with service providers to produce videos and social media visuals and promoting the campaigns including engaging with the media;
  • Coordinating meetings and events for the coalition, including logistical support such as note-taking, setting up calls, hiring interpretation agencies, and other administrative tasks.

Training and Opportunities

  • Fellows are fully included in staff and strategy meetings, which provide a comprehensive understanding of the work of an international human rights NGO;
  • Fellows also have opportunities to interact and network with human rights defenders, diplomats or 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.

Fellowship modalities

The Fellowship is expected to be a home-based full-time position (37.5 hours per week over 5 days). ISHR offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

This position is currently still contingent upon funding.



  • You are African or of African Descent;
  • You write and speak English and Portuguese fluently;
  • You have strong writing skills in English and Portuguese;
  • Your strengths lie in communications, social media and especially in using human rights language for social media.
  • You have worked with or as part of, anti-racism movements/collectives at the national or regional levels working on police or State violence against Africans and People of African Descent;
  • You are interested in advocating at the international level, in particular at the UN.
  • Strong interest and commitment in human rights and social change.


  • Fluent in the following languages: French, Spanish;
  • Previous experience working with victims and victims’ families of police violence;
  • Previous experience implementing communications strategy or online-based campaigns;
  • Previous experience organizing events and campaigns;
  • Previous work or volunteer experience in a human rights NGO;
  • Education in political science, history, international relations, human rights or related fields.

Equal opportunity

ISHR is firmly committed to having a diverse team and to the principle of equal employment opportunity. ISHR’s practices fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and selection procedures and strives for international and multicultural personnel.

For the purpose of this fellowship, only Africans or People of African descent are eligible for the position. We particularly welcome applications from underrepresented groups, including women, LGBTIQ+ persons, persons with disabilities and other groups.

How to apply


Interested candidates should submit here an application by sending a cover letter, a CV (no profile picture please), a sample of their social media/communications work and up to two reference contacts from civil society organisations working on issues related to People of African Descent and racism that can certify your status.

Applications will close on 25 September 2022, Midnight Geneva time.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please note that due to the high volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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


In July 2021, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, also known as the “George Floyd Resolution”, which created a mechanism “to further transformative change for racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement globally, especially where relating to the legacies of colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade in enslaved Africans”. It is also tasked with investigating “governments’ responses to peaceful anti-racism protests and all violations of international human rights law and to contribute to accountability and redress for victims”. The Council also tasked the UN High Commissioner to report annually on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, contribute to accountability and redress and take further action globally towards Transformative Change for Racial Justice and Equality.

The mobilization of a global civil society coalition largely contributed to the Council’s adoption of the “George Floyd Resolution”. The coalition is composed of members from different parts of the world, including representatives of social movements, national, regional and international NGOs and international experts. The coalition prioritizes the lived experiences of people of African descent, centering the experiences of the Black communities and their demands for justice, equality and reparations.

In order to maximize the impact of the “George Floyd Resolution” and to support cross-regional civil society coordination and advocacy, ISHR as part of the coalition, is implementing a project to facilitate engagement of directly impacted communities at the UN and ensure the effective implementation of the Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement to support national level advocacy.



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