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Fellowship programme for people of African descent

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Organization: OHCHR

Location: Africa

What is the Fellowship programme for people of African descent

Type: Fellowship

People of African ancestry from the diaspora who are working to advance the rights of people of African descent can enroll in the Fellowship program, which provides intense human rights training.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva hosts it once a year.

The fellowship program offers the following opportunities to participants:

  • learn about and get a deeper grasp of the UN’s human rights system, the international framework to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and associated intolerance, as well as intersecting concerns with a focus on persons of African descent;
  • hone abilities in creating project ideas, giving presentations, and submitting data to mechanisms for human rights;
  • learn about human rights processes first-hand;
  • Meet with a wide range of actors.

The Fellowship Programme was initiated by the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section in 2011 and was further supported by the GA resolution on the Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent (A/RES/69/16). The High Commissioner is the coordinator of the IPAD.

You can apply for UN-Fellowship Programme/Minorities

Purpose of the Fellowship programme for people of African descent

The program’s objective is to improve participants’ abilities to support the defense and advancement of the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of persons of African descent in their home nations. The participants are given the resources needed to improve the creation of laws, policies, and programs; to build civil society and governmental cooperation; and to carry out local awareness-raising initiatives.

Recollections of former comrades

Read prior fellows’ testimonies in Voices of the Decade
11 tales of fellows of African descent are included in Voices of the Decade, giving readers an overview of the significant and inspirational work done to advance the human rights of persons of African descent around the globe.

Who Can Apply

The candidate must be an individual of African descent living in the Diaspora.

  • The candidate must have a minimum of 4 years of work experience related to the rights of People of African Descent.
  • The candidate has to submit a letter from an organization working on issues related to People of African Descent or minority rights certifying their status.
  • The candidates must be available to attend the full duration of the programme. The selected fellows will be expected to participate in different activities and to strictly follow the programme.

Since 2011, 130 fellows from 39 nations—among them Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay—have taken part in the Fellowship program.

Dates of the fellowship

The Fellowship will take place in 2022 from November 21 to December 9 in Geneva, Switzerland, if the COVID-19 situation permits to travel and on-site instruction.

Fellows are also asked to put in some time in the previous two weeks working on prerequisite tasks and pre-online courses.

How to Apply?

THE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR 2022 IS CLOSED. Kindly note that given a large number of applications received, only short-listed applicants will be notified by email.

Applications can be submitted in English, Français, and Español.

Applicants are requested to submit the following documents in one single e-mail to ohchr-africandescentfellowship@un.org:

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A completed, signed, and scanned Application Form (English | Français | Español) in one single document.
  • A Personal Statement (maximum 500 words) in which the candidate will explain his/her motivation for applying, and how he/she will use the knowledge gained from the fellowship to promote the interests and rights of people of African descent.
  • An Official Letter from the nominating organization or community certifying the status
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport.
  • Please note that submissions with more than five attachments will not be accepted.

Important: Please mention in the subject header of your e-mail: “Application for the 2022 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent.”
Name the attached document as follows:

LAST NAME First name – Type of document
Example: SMITH Jacqueline – Application form.doc
SMITH Jacqueline – A Personal Statement.doc
Jacqueline SMITH – Letter certifying Status.pdf
SMITH Jacqueline – Passport.pdf

Selection Process

Gender and the regional balance shall be reflected in the fellows’ selection. It will also be taken into account how individuals of African heritage are treated in terms of human rights in each nation.

Please be aware that applications won’t be acknowledged due to the number of communications. Only those who have been shortlisted will be notified.

Information for former fellows

  • OHCHR-Fellows partnership

Formal fellows are invited to apply to the OHCHR – Fellows partnership, through which the OHCHR provides support to events and initiatives of former fellows. Additional information on how to apply is available here:

OHCHR – Fellows partnership: Call for application

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