Two Fellowships – Human Rights Defenders - 2013

1) Venue of Fellowship: Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS). Address: 1889 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.20006, United States of America

2) Modality: On-site

3) Deadline to present applications: October 31, 2013.

4) Start and End Dates :

Fellowship 1: December 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014;
Fellowship 2: May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

5) Length of the Fellowship :

Fellowship 1: 9 months;
Fellowship 2: 8 months;

These are overlapping sessions, so please indicate to which session you are applying. If you are interested in being considered for either session, please indicate your preference.

6) Objective : To provide an opportunity for young lawyers from OAS Member States to understand and apply the mechanisms of protection of the Inter-American System of Human Rights in the area of human rights defenders.

7) Program: The fellow will assist with tasks of the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders of the Inter-American Commission, under the supervision of its human rights specialists during the period of the fellowship and, at the end of the fellowship, the fellow shall present to the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR a detailed report on activities carried out.

8) Expected results:

  • Collaboration with the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR in the processing of petitions, cases and requests for precautionary measures relating to human rights of defenders;
  • Preparation of draft reports on petitions and cases concerning human rights defenders;
  • Research on the situation of human rights defenders in specific countries and preparing their particular reports;
  • Preparation of memos and other documents for hearings, working meetings and visits of the Commission related to the situation of human rights defenders;
  • Promotion and dissemination of activities of the human rights system and the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders;
  • Preparation of contents for the constant updating of the website of the Commission in relation to the work of the Rapporteurship and of the Commission in the area of human rights defenders.

9) Requirements:

  • Be a citizen of an OASMemberState;
  • Proficiency in Spanish and English (attach certificates testifying thereto), knowledge of French or Portuguese desirable;
  • Have graduated in law from an officially recognized university (attach copy of the law degree and grades obtained);
  • Have received law degree after January 1, 2006;
  • Have a demonstrable professional interest in the legal field of human rights, specifically in the area of human rights defenders; and
  • Present a paper of up to five pages, not edited by another person, on a human rights issue of interest to the candidate in the area of human rights defenders.

10) Required documents: The following documents are required in order to be considered for the fellowship:

  • Letter of interest
  • Completed Fellowship Application (LINK)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certification of second language
  • Copy of law degree and grades obtained
  • Written essay of up to five pages

Subject to the discretion of the Commission, the finalist might be requested a respond to additional questions.

11) Benefits :

  • The IACHR provides a monthly stipend of US$3,000.00 for 2013, and US$3,200.00 for 2014. With the stipend provided, the fellow is responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage of his/her choosing for the duration of the fellowship, and should provide proof of coverage to the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR;
  • Round-trip economy class air transportation from the participant’s country of residence to Washington, D.C. Terminal and transfer expenses are not covered;
  • The IACHR will award a certificate of participation in the Fellowship Program to the fellows who satisfactorily complete the entire period of the fellowship.

12) Responsibilities of the selected candidates:

  • Once an applicant has been selected, he/she should formally accept the fellowship in writing, confirming with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights his/her availability to complete the fellowship during the specified time period. Once accepted, the IACHR will proceed with the necessary arrangements for purchase of round-trip economy air transportation between the candidate’s country of origin/residence and Washington, D.C. ;
  • In the event a candidate accepts a fellowship but cannot complete it, for whatever reason, he/she must immediately inform the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights so that the course of action may be decided;
  • It is the responsibility of each selected candidate to request and obtain the necessary visa to enter the United States, and/or transit visa (if applicable) in a timely manner. The IACHR will not incur in any expense related to the processing of immigration or visa documents. The IACHR will provide the candidate a document certifying his/her selection as an official fellow of the IACHR so that he/she may request the corresponding visa, which is the sole responsibility of the selected candidate. In addition, the OAS will send a diplomatic note to the Embassy or Consulate where the selected candidate will be requesting his/her visa, certifying the fellow’s selection;
  • It is the responsibility of the selected candidate to arrive in a timely manner so that he/she will be present for the commencement of the fellowship on the date established by the IACHR;
  • If the selected candidate declines the fellowship after the flight ticket has been purchased, or does not travel on the established dates or changes routes, the candidate shall reimburse the IACHR the cost of the flight ticket or any additional costs incurred. The latter includes any additional costs, if any, incurred by the IACHR, such as extra costs for accommodation during the candidate’s travel to and from Washington, D.C.;
  • If the candidate resigns, cancels or terminates the fellowship after the program has begun without providing sufficient reason and evidence to the IACHR for doing so, he/she will fully reimburse the IACHR for all costs incurred on his/her behalf.

13) Presentation of candidates:

The application and other required documents indicated in sections 9 and 10 must be submitted to the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR prior to the closing date of the application period, by fax, mail or an e-mail with the words “Defenders 2013 Fellowship” in the Subject Line, to:

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

1889 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20006


Telephone: 202-370-9000
Fax: 202-458-3650

These fellowships are offered thanks to support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), as part of the project “Freedom of Expression in the Americas”.