Human Rights and Rule of Law Intern

Location : Remote Internship, TURKEY
Application Deadline :26-Jan-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :With possible extension up to 6 months

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


While progress has been achieved in Rule of Law, Governance, and Human Rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECIS), the outbreak of COVID-19 has put at significant risk the democratic achievements in the country the region. Following the rule of emergency, the limited overview of the governments' actions by parliamentary and judiciary has led to a larger scale of abuse of power, weakening of democratic processes, greater restriction of civil and political rights, and the overall decline of trust, revealing the pre-existing fragility of the social contract and further deepening inequalities in the region. In addition, the recent border and internal conflicts in several countries have seriously affected the stability in the region, highlighting the persistence of inter-ethnic, social, and political tensions. 

The adverse impacts of both the pandemic and climate change have heightened the importance of responsible business practices in the region. The region faces a massive outward labor migration flow leading to an extensive 'brain drain' and depletion of human capital due to a lack of protection of labor rights and discrimination, especially in the informal sector. The practices of extractive industries in the region continue to contribute to the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and hazardous working conditions. The exponential use of digital technologies during the pandemic has amplified public calls for the protection of human rights and better governance of new and emerging digital systems, applications, and platforms within the private and public sectors. While the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide a clear guide for governments and companies to protect and respect internationally guaranteed human rights, the awareness and capacities of the countries to implement UNGPs remain low.

The Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH) is UNDP's main knowledge and advisory hub for the countries serviced by UNDP's Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (RBEC). In the region, UNDP works with national and international partners to strengthen the social contract between the state and society to protect human rights, promote equality, and enhance social cohesion. This includes advocating for openness, transparency and accountability of public institutions, anti-corruption and strengthening civil society engagement; supporting legal reforms and developing parliamentary processes; strengthening the rule of law including people-centered security and promoting rights and access to justice of marginalized communities; enhancing public services and institutional responsiveness including public sector performance measures, voice and participation, particularly of excluded groups including youth; supporting effective local governance frameworks, decentralization and implementation mechanisms; supporting conflict prevention through national dialogue, local peace committees, and confidence-building activities while building institutional capacity to address risks and crises; and placing gender equality and women at the center of decision-making and peace efforts. 

In areas of the rule of law, justice, security, and human rights (ROLJSHR) IRH’s primary focus is on supporting the regional advocacy and alignment of national capacities and frameworks with international standards on human rights, the rule of law, security, and justice. IRH’s scope of policy and programme is guided by the Regional Programme of UNDP for Europe and CIS (2022-25) and Global Programme for Strengthening the Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice and Security for Sustainable Peace and Development (2022-25). The thematic focus ranges from support to the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), expanding and protecting civic space, climate/environmental justice, people-centered justice, and security, promoting responsible business conduct based on UNGPs, as well as human rights-based approaches to digital governance. The IRH also connects the region to a global network of UNDP development experts to build knowledge and capacity and forge partnerships to meet the development challenges of a large and diverse region.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Policy Specialist on Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice and Security, the Intern will:

  • Provide research support in the field of the rule of law, human rights, security, and justice
  • Draft communication products (infographics, social media messages, leaflets), as well as issue briefs and short policy pieces
  • Support the virtual organization of meetings and online events involving UNDP staff and external practitioners (e.g., conferences, workshops, launch events for publications, internal presentations)
  • Support the organization of the partner's engagement and outreach events and initiatives (e.g. webinars, podcasts, talks etc.) and related follow up


  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities
  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications/ education;

(a) Be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme (such as a master’s programme, or higher);

(b) Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (such as bachelor’s degree or equivalent);

(c) Have recently graduated with a university degree in legal studies, human rights, international relations, social sciences, public policy or related disciplines; (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation;


  • Demonstrated strong interest and academic background in the areas of Human Rights, Justice, Security, and Rule of Law issues;
  • Familiarity with the rule of law, justice, security, and human rights issues in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region is an advantage;
  • Experience in research on human rights issues is considered an asset

Language skills:

  • Proficiency in English, with excellent writing, research, and analytical skills is a must;
  • Knowledge of Russian would be an advantage.


Financial Issues

Internships within the UN system are subject to conditions the applicant must get familiar with before signing his/her internship agreement.

Starting from January 2020 interns may receive stipends according to UN rules and regulations. Where an intern is financially supported by an institution, government or third party, UNDP will, subject to the rules of such institution, government or third party, pay the intern the difference, if any, between the external financial support provided and the applicable UNDP stipend.

Any further costs associated with the internship must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his or her arrangements for travel, accommodation and other costs.


Application procedure

The application should contain:

Brief Cover Letter (in English) stating interest in and qualifications for the post;

Current and complete CV in English;

Please group all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Candidates who are selected for must submit prior to the interview the following documents:

Official document(s) confirming your education status stated in Section 4;

Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out. Selected intern must have medical and life insurance.

UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.

UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship.

Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.

It is important to note that interns are responsible to arrange for their own visa and residence documents, and need to plan for these well in advance.

Subsequent Employment

The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship. It is important to note that interns are responsible to arrange for their own visa and residence documents and need to plan for these well in advance.


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