Fellowship programme for persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities*
Senior Minorities Fellowship position
The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) was launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2005.
Through this Programme, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities an opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The Fellowship Programme is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities the fellows belong to.
The MFP is held annually and currently has two linguistic versions: The English language programme has been running since 2005 and the Arabic language programme started in 2007. The duration of the programmes varied until 2011, when both programmes were decided to last 5 weeks and coincide with the session of the Forum on Minority Issues.
The Fellows are based at the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland. The programme is interactive and consists of briefings on several topics (e.g. the UN system, OHCHR's work, human rights mechanisms and instruments) as well as individual and group assignments.
At the end of the Programme, all Fellows should have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms in general and those relevant to minorities in particular and be capable of further training their communities/organizations.
Fellows are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; and a grant to cover modest accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the Programme and other living expenses.
Who can apply?
1. The candidate must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic or religious minority group (persons who do not belong to a minority group will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with minority communities and/or organizations)
NOTE: If your community identifies as indigenous, please do not apply to this programme but to our indigenous fellowship programme instead (see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/fellowship.htm). Please note that the indigenous fellowship is a separate programme and has different application forms and deadlines.
2. Formal education should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, if relevant experience can be demonstrated.
3. Candidates should have ability, willingness and possibility to train other persons belonging to minorities upon return to their respective communities/organizations and should agree to do so.
4. The candidates must have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted (i.e. English or Arabic).
5. The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her organization and/or community. It is desirable that the sponsoring organization has a firm constituency or membership, is representative, undertakes work on minority issues and is composed of persons belonging to minorities.
6. The overall goal of the Minorities Fellowship Programme is to offer persons belonging to minorities the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the field of international human rights in order to assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting human and minority rights. Therefore, it is important that the candidate proposed and nominated by a minority organization or community be someone who will return to his or her NGO to work in this field.
The selection of fellows reflects a gender and regional balance. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration as is the situation of the minority community to which the applicant belongs to.
A pre-selection of 15 (first five preferences and 10 alternates) candidates is made by the previous minority fellows. The final selection of successful candidates is undertaken by an advisory group composed of OHCHR staff.
In view of the large number of applications, we regret to inform that only successful candidates will be contacted.
How to apply?
Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II must be signed and faxed, sent by regular post or scanned and E-mailed to the following address:
Minorities Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Telefax number: (+41 22) 928 90 66
Application forms need to be accompanied by an official recommendation letter from the nominating organization or community.
Any questions pertaining to the Minorities Fellowship Programme can be directed to the addresses mentioned above.
>>English language programme (sessions imparted in English):
The English language component of the Minorities Fellowship Programme began in 2005, as an initiative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Fellows have the opportunity to receive training sessions/briefings by OHCHR and also by other UN agencies.
The 2011 English language minority fellowship programme will take place from 14 November to 16 December 2011. The candidates selected to participate in the 2011 programme are:
- Mr. Abdullahi Diriye, Kenya
- Ms. Guntaas Kaur Cheema, Canada
- Mr. Igor Kostic, Serbia
- Mr. Prakash Mohara, Nepal
- Mr. Francis Duitor
>>Arabic language programme (sessions imparted in Arabic):
The Arabic language component of the Minorities Fellowship Programme began in 2007 as a two-week pilot and expanded to three weeks in 2008 and to four weeks in 2009 and 2010. It is intended primarily for persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities who are Arabic speakers and do not have a sufficient command of the English language to benefit from the English language programme.
The 2011 Arabic language minority fellowship programme will take place from 14 November to 16 December 2011. The call for applications is now opened.
* The implementation of the Fellowship programme is dependent on funding being made available