Human Rights and Conflict Prevention Intern – Istanbul

Full Time
Posted 1 week ago


The region of Europe and Central Asia is composed of mostly middle-income countries that had been experiencing significant growth until the last few years when the region experienced a number of crises that further intensified existing conflicts, increased violations of human rights, deepened inequalities, and increased societal polarization, among others.  In addition, the climate emergency continues to threaten the human rights, peace, and development of countries in increasingly direct and severe ways. More than 14 million people have been forced to flee their homes following Russia‘s war on Ukraine. On top of this, the countries are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that has pushed marginalized groups even further behind, leading to a dramatic rise in poverty and inequalities, and exposing decades of underinvestment in effective institutions and public health and social protection in particular. 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.

In this context, the Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH), UNDP’s primary knowledge and advisory hub for the countries serviced by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (RBEC) strives to make the rule of law and respect for human rights a reference point, as a guarantee for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. Moreover, in a region where risk and resilience are delicately balanced, strengthening our collective efforts for conflict prevention and the sustainability of peace is critical. UNDP leverages its position as the SDG integrator within the development system, and its pivotal role across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) nexus, while operationalizing a shift towards more proactive and pre-emptive Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (CPPB) strategies and measures.

IRH’s scope of policy and programme is guided by the Regional Programme of UNDP for Europe and CIS (2022-25), Global Programme for Strengthening the Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice and Security for Sustainable Peace and Development (2022-25) and the Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding Framework for Europe & Central Asia.

In this context, the Istanbul Regional Hub is hiring two interns for a 6-month period. While both interns will work in the same team, one will focus on Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding related work , while the other will focus on Human Rights, Rule of Law and Justice.

The key thematic areas of IRH’s support in the rule of law domain include strengthening the capacities of the National Human Rights, justice and the rule of law institutions, expanding and protecting civic space, promoting people-centered justice and security approaches, climate/environmental justice, responsible business conduct based on UNGPs, and human rights-based approaches to digital governance.

The key thematic areas of IRH’s support in Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding include ensuring conflict-sensitive programming; supporting anticipation, foresight, and data analytics; strengthening our engagement in contested territories and conflict/post-conflict areas; addressing hate speech and divisive narratives; preventing violent extremism; supporting confidence-building measures; reducing polarization; easing inter-community tensions; strengthening social cohesion; leveraging digital tools for peacebuilding and advancing agendas such as Youth Peace and Security, Women Peace and Security, Climate Peace and Security, among others.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the IRH Policy Specialist on Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice and Security;  and the IRH Regional Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding Specialist, the Interns will:

  • Contribute to the development of research and knowledge products in the field of Governance & Peacebuilding, including the rule of law, human rights, security, justice, conflict prevention, conflict and data analytics, digital peacebuilding, the prevention of violent extremism, and conflict transformation.
  • Draft communication products (infographics, social media messages, leaflets), as well as issue briefs and short policy pieces
  • Support the 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;

Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application must meet one of the following requirements

(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, political science, 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;

(d) Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program.


  • Demonstrated strong interest and academic background in the areas of either (1) Human Rights, Justice, Security, and Rule of Law issues, and/or (2) Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
  • Field experience, including volunteering, field research and other internships in at least one of these sub-regions is a strong advantage: Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, the Western Balkans and Central Asia.
  • Work experience, including volunteering and other internships, in the field of International Development and Cooperation, is an advantage.
  • Experience in research on human rights issues and/or Conflict Analysis, Prevention and Peacebuilding is considered an asset

Language skills:

  • Proficiency in English, with excellent writing, research, and analytical skills is a must;

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:

One-page 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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