Spring 2024 – Interns and Fellowship Programme – gva4HR HPS IFP

Interns at the UNOG – Palais des Nations, to monitor UN HR bodies and mechanisms

Outline – Internship Programme – Spring 2024

Through training, study and protection, GHR aims to bridge the gaps between international standards and realities and to empower all those involved in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training & Policy Studies (gva4HR/GHR) and its Human Rights Policy Studies Department permanently has a multidisciplinary and international team. gva4HR recruits non-paid interns and welcome applications from students and graduates in international relations, international law, human rights, political science and economics, who are motivated in the promotion and protection of human rights and social justice.

Our trainings and internships aim at inducing policy innovation and bringing transformative change. They serve political, economical and social policies and values which are people-centered, planet sensitive, life-protective, which are guided by values of human rights and social justice, which are enabled by democratic states and inclusive institutions, and are shaped through the participation of empowered populations and nations.

Geneva for human rights – gva4HR

gva4HR is an international training and policy studies organization aiming at contributing to the implementation and protection of human rights in the countries.

Since more than 20 years gva4HR supports and trains human rights NGOs, defenders, practitioners, young academics and all those involved in human rights, at national and global level, to empower them in the use of domestic, regional and international procedures, and to realize implementation strategies at national level.

Leaving no one left behind and ‘all the rights for all’; inclusivity and respect for diversity; self-expression and self-identification; individual and collective sovereignty and self-determination; Free, Prior and Informed Consent: these are core values and driving forces leading our strategies and actions.

Already at the time of the Commission of Human Rights (1946-2006) and its Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (1947-2006), gva4HR’s actual members and friends, since the 80’s, have been key if not crucial in contributing to the inception and creation of human rights mechanisms, bodies, decisions and initiatives as well as to the elaboration of universal standards and internationally recognised fundamental rights. As human rights are structurally prone to capture, instrumentalisation and distortion, they stood up to protect and serve them.

Since then, they have shared their knowledge, expertise and commitment in supporting victims, defenders and all those involved in the protection, promotion and implementation of human rights. gva4HR’s Circle of Trainers, created at the occasion of our 20 years of service and support, in 2023, contributes to bring specific and pertinent knowledge and expertise to our trainees and partners.

Since the creation of the UN Human Rights Council (‘HR-Council’) in 2006, gva4HR conducted its Geneva Course during most of the ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. In recent years, gva4HR also organized with its partners in the field and in the Regions, dozens of (3-4 days) in-Country Courses for defenders in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Botswana, Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia (Papua), Pakistan, Nepal, India, and Sri-Lanka.

gva4HR gives also Geneva briefings (especially for national NGOs coalitions) during sessions of the treaty bodies and of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It also convenes Experts Seminars on the main issues on the agenda of the HR-Council.


Our organisation’s pillars are training and research, advocacy and strategy, implementation and follow-up as well as HR policy studies and UN monitoring.

Human Rights Policy Studies Department

The HPS Department supports all gva4HR training activities. It is composed by the Internship and Fellowship Program (HPS), the UN Monitoring (UNM) and the HR Policy Studies (HPS).

The department is in charge of monitoring international human rights negotiations, covering all meetings of UN human rights bodies, analyzing the main trends, and informing our trainers and partners in the field. Logically, HPS is entrusted with the preparation of gva4HR’s brainstorming sessions and Expert Seminars and Geneva Courses.

Our activities and curriculum have been adapted and updated to address the emergent debates, topics and challenges as well as future threats to human rights, the rule of law and democracy for instance IA and NET[i], neuro-technologies[ii], human rights and outer space[iii], civic space and democracy, sexual orientation and gender identity, self-determination, women’s and child’s rights, ecocide, …  Interns and Fellows support gva4hr in the process of closely following these topics and situation to keep our institutional knowledge

Responsive to the legacy of, past and present, colonial and oppression systems and policies as well as accounting for the centuries of systemic racialised and gendered violations and discriminations, our courses and trainings focus on the challenges and opportunities of the international human rights system and of our times.

The studies and activities of gva4HR do also address the new trends and reforms within the United Nations ecosystem and in international relations. New topics, new mechanisms and new tools emerge along with new dynamics at play. The rise of new matters of concerns affecting or impacting human rights in national, regional and international settings leads to new initiatives and changes in policies (the Common Agenda[iv] and Summit of the Future[v], reform/strengthening of HR-Council, Special Procedures, UN HR Treaty Bodies…) these are a matter of concern and study for gva4HR.

Framing all our activities, programmes and projects is the aim to bring awareness and understanding on the opportunities and risks while decolonising the theory and pedagogical practices of human rights.

Internship & Fellowship Programme (IFP)

Every year, gva4HR trains many students in its Internship Programme. Our internships run for a period of three to six months and are full-time. However, we are flexible for students in or near Geneva and accept that they continue to follow a few courses at their university/institute, except during our Geneva Courses.

Our internships and fellowship are an immersive, interactive and intensive training as well as personal project. It is designed to empower our interns and to support them in the use of UN and international human rights procedures.  Interns will be exposed to the realities of the debates and dynamics at play.

Our IFP programme combines the theory, the exchanges on the experience of the participants (field situations) and the exposure to the multilateral reality (UN system), which the interns monitor

gva4HR recruits interns to constitute a multidisciplinary and international team. We welcome applications from students and graduates in international relations, international law and economics, who are motivated in the promotion of human rights, social justice and (sustainable) development.

As gva4HR has no funding, all gva4HR internships are unpaid. Interns have to cover themselves the costs associated with their internship (travel, accommodation, living expenses). gva4hr nevertheless supports interns in providing documentation for grants request or financial support claims.

However, gva4HR’s Internship Programme constitutes a unique training opportunity. gva4HR offers all its interns a specific training on the U.N. human rights bodies and the human rights procedures.

All the interns participate free of charge  in gva4HR’s Geneva Course for defenders in the regions. gva4HR trainers animate weekly study meetings with the interns to discuss and analyze the ongoing UN meetings and to review the reports of the interns on the human rights sessions.

The next round of our Internship Programme, for the Spring 2024 RUNS FROM Monday 19th of February to Friday 12th of july 2024.

The interns will join our Programme of Human Rights Policy Studies (HPS), which supports all our training activities. The quality of gva4HR training depends on this Programme. Their tasks will be:

  • to monitor and prepare draft reports on UN human rights sessions, in particular the 55th and 56th sessions of the Human Rights Council, sessions of the Council’s mechanisms, the 46th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and sessions of treaty monitoring bodies;
  • to collect and manage the documentation of these meetings;
  • to study and prepare synthesis of the main reports submitted to these meetings;
  • to support the organisation, its work and activities.

All interns will participate free of charge to the 55th (and/or 56th  in June’24) Geneva Course taking place from 5 to 22 March 2024 during the session of the Human Rights Council. They will learn drafting communications to the Special procedures, and oral interventions for one of the human rights meetings. Where possible, they may be invited to join meetings of NGOs coalitions, and to join gva4HR task forces/study circles preparing gva4HR Courses.

Applications should be sent by E-mail with the application form, a curriculum vitae and a letter of motivation, before 16th of February 2024.


Genève pour les Droits Humains – Formation Internationale & Études de Politique

Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training & Policy Studies