Human Rights Officer

United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geneva, Switzerland


Under the supervision of the Chief of the Special Procedures Branch, the Human Rights Officer will be responsible for the following functions:

  • Monitoring the global human rights situation worldwide through analysis of incoming information from governments, IGOs, UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as NGOs and individuals;
  • Assisting the mandate-holder (Special Rapporteur/Representative) in fact-finding missions, including organising missions, drafting of mission reports and following up on the implementation of recommendations;
  • Providing support to the mandate-holder in drafting of the annual reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly, as needed; follow up on implementation of decisions made by policy-making organs;
  • Preparing correspondence for the mandate-holder with governments, IGOs, UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as NGOs and individuals;
  • Drafting of oral presentations for the annual reports, as well as other. presentations and other articles on the mandate;
  • Providing substantive input for OHCHR's policies and statements in areas relevant to the mandate;
  • Liaising with OHCHR thematic and geographic desk officers and with other human rights conventional and extra-conventional mechanisms;
  • Liaising with representatives of governments, IGOs, UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as NGOs and individuals in connection with the mandate and representing OHCHR at working level meetings with those partners;
  • Undertaking research pertaining to the mandate;
  • Providing administrative support to the mandate-holder;
  • May provide guidance to new/junior staff;
  • Performing other duties as required.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues, to include approaches and techniques to address sensitive problems; Knowledge of and exposure to institutional mandates, policies and guidelines relating to thematic procedures of the Human Rights Council; Knowledge of problems, i.e., political, ethnic, racial, gender, social, economic, etc., having a negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights; good analytical and research skills; sound judgment and negotiating skills; 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;
  • PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: 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;
  • TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  • Advanced University degree (Masters or equivalent), preferably in law, political science, international relations or other disciplines related to human rights. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the area of human rights or related field is required. Significant experience of the UN human rights machinery and in particular special procedures mechanisms will be an asset.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; fluency or knowledge of another UN language is an asset; fluency in French or Spanish is desirable.

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