The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) established the Indigenous Fellowship Programme in 1997 as part of the inaugural International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The program’s goal is to provide indigenous peoples with the chance to learn about the UN system and processes dealing with human rights concerns in general, and indigenous issues in particular. Participants who have received training are better positioned to support their organizations and communities in safeguarding and advocating their rights. This training program is offered in five different languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese.
Advantage of this scholarship
For the length of the program, the selected candidates are entitled to a return airplane ticket, living costs, and basic health insurance.
HOW LONG WILL THE AWARD BE VALID?
Over the course of four weeks in Geneva, fellows from all five language components of the program get simultaneous interpretation training. The training program is typically scheduled to coincide with the annual session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (June/July each year), allowing fellows to engage more actively in that Mechanism.
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- The nominee must be indigenous (non-indigenous people, even if they have significant relationships to indigenous communities and/or organizations, will not be considered).
- Participation in the program should not be restricted based on age.
- Given the socioeconomic challenges that many indigenous peoples face in accessing formal educational institutions, formal education should not be a barrier to participation in the IFP.
- After returning to their respective communities/organizations, candidates should promise to train additional indigenous people.
- The candidate’s nomination should be recommended and supported by his or her indigenous organization and/or community. It is preferable for the sponsoring group to have a strong constituency or membership and to be representative.
- The candidate should have a solid working understanding of the language in which the program is delivered.
Date, Process, and Location of UNHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program Interviews
The selection of fellows reflects gender and geographical balance, as well as community representation. The general state of human rights in the individual regions/countries is also considered.
Previous indigenous fellows pre-select 15 to 20 candidates per language group. The selection procedure also includes interviews with pre-selected individuals who apply to the program’s English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian language components. The selection of candidates for the Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian language components of the program is also done in collaboration with partner universities (University of Brasilia, University of Deusto, and Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia) that provide preparatory training courses to the Program. An advisory panel of OHCHR employees reviews the final selection of successful candidates. Due to the enormous amount of applications, only those who have been pre-selected are contacted.
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How to Apply
We highly advise you to submit your application form well in advance of the deadline. Fellowship applications will only be considered if they are completely completed. Parts I and II of the application form must be signed and mailed to the following address:
Mr. Morse Caoagas Flores
Coordinator, Indigenous Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
48, Avenue Giuseppe-Motta, Office 2-05
CH-1211 Geneva 10
An authentic reference letter from the nominated indigenous group or community must be included with the application form.
Scholarship Official website: United Nations OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship
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