The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP), initiated in 2005, stands as the OHCHR’s most comprehensive training initiative for human rights and minority rights defenders from ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority groups.
Fellows are expected to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the United Nations system and international human rights treaties, particularly those relating to minorities, by the program’s conclusion. They should possess the capability to provide supplementary training within their communities or organizations.
Moreover, this program serves as an avenue for human rights activists focused on safeguarding and advocating for minority rights to expand their network. It fosters strategic dialogues with fellow activists globally, the United Nations, and pertinent NGOs based in Geneva, among other partners.
The MFP is offered in three linguistic components: English, Russian, and Arabic.
The MFP takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. Fellows are entitled to:
- A return economy class ticket from their country of residence to Geneva.
- Ba sic health insurance for the program’s duration.
- A stipend is provided to address modest accommodation and living expenses throughout the duration of the program.
- The applicant must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic, or religious minority group. Individuals outside of these minority groups, even with close connections to minority communities or organizations, will not be considered eligible. Note: If your community identifies as indigenous, please apply to our Indigenous Fellowship Programme. Please be aware that the Indigenous Fellowship Programme is distinct, with different application procedures and deadlines.
- Formal education should not serve as a barrier to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme if the candidate can demonstrate relevant experience.
- Candidates are expected to possess the ability, willingness, and opportunity to train other individuals from minority groups upon their return to their respective communities or organizations, and must commit to doing so.
- Proficiency in the language used for the programme is necessary for candidates.
- Candidates must be proposed and supported by their organization and/or community. Ideally, the sponsoring organization:
• Holds a solid constituency or membership among minorities.
• Represents minority concerns.
• Engages in work concerning minority issues.
• Comprises individuals from minority groups.
- The primary objective of the Minorities Fellowship Programme is to provide minority individuals with the chance to acquire knowledge and skills in international human rights. This equips them to assist their organizations and communities in safeguarding and advocating for human and minority rights. Hence, it is crucial for candidates nominated by a minority organization or community to return to their NGO to work in this domain.
The selection process for successful candidates is conducted by an advisory group consisting of OHCHR staff.
The selection of fellows aims to maintain gender and regional equilibrium. We also consider the overall human rights scenario in the respective regions/countries and the status of the applicant’s minority community.
Due to the high volume of applications, we regret to inform you that only successful candidates will be contacted.
Prospective applicants can access the fellowship application forms in English, Russian, or Arabic.
Completion of both parts I and II of the application form, along with a duly signed official recommendation letter from the nominating organization or community, is mandatory for consideration. Incomplete fellowship applications will not be processed.
Candidates should clearly state “Application to the 2024 Minorities Fellowship Programme” in the subject line and submit their application via email to email@example.com or by mail to:
Mr. Morse Caoagas Flores
Coordinator, Indigenous & Minorities Fellowship Programmes
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
48, Avenue Giuseppe-Motta, Office 2-05
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
For Further Details,
Application Deadline: December 8, 2023