Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

Fellowship for the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination


  1. Deadline: April 30, 2021
  2. Start and End: May 17, 2021 to March 31, 2022
  3. Objective: To provide an opportunity for young lawyers from the OAS Member States to understand and apply the protection mechanisms of the Inter-American system of human rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination.
  4. Location: Normally, the fellowship, takes place at the headquarters of the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ES/IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS). Address: 1889 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, United States of America. However, due to limitations in consular services and travel restrictions implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fellowship will begin remotely, from the place of residence of the selected person.
  5. Modality: Due to limitations in consular services and travel restrictions implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a remote-work modality will be adopted for at least the first 3 months of the fellowship. Thereafter, depending on travel possibilities, the fellowship will continue on-site, at headquarters in Washington DC.
  6. Length of the fellowship: 10.5 months
  7. Program: The fellow will support the work of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), under the supervision of its specialists during the period of the fellowship; upon the conclusion of the fellowship, the fellow will submit to the Secretariat of the IACHR a detailed report on the activities carried out.

    The fellowship is subject to the availability of funding.
  8. Expected results:
    • Collaboration with the team of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination at the IACHR in the elaboration of the thematic and country reports.
    • Collaboration with the team of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR in the processing of petitions, cases and requests for precautionary measures relating to the rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination.
    • Writing draft reports on petitions and cases concerning the human rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination.
    • Research about the situation of rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination as well as the preparation of reports.
    • Preparation of summaries and other documents for hearings, working meetings and visits of the ES/IACHR related to the situation of rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination.
    • Collaboration in initiatives aimed at promoting and disseminating the Inter-American human rights system and the Rapporteurship on persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination.
    • Updating the IACHR website with information relating to the work of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination.
    • Monitoring of the situation of the rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination in the region.
  9. Requirements:
    • Be a citizen of an OAS Member State;
    • To have the necessary technological equipment and services to carry out remote work, including a stable Internet connection that allows for video calls;
    • In the event that travel to Washington DC is possible during the period of the fellowship, the fellow must commit to returning to their country of origin after the fellowship has ended. In addition, before the end of the fellowship, they must submit a written paper containing a proposal to continue their work in the field of human rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination in their home State; Â  
    • Fluency in Spanish and English (attach certificate of intermediate-advanced level), knowledge of Portuguese or French is desirable;
    • Law degree from an officially accredited university (send copy of degree and grades obtained);
    • Having received the university diploma in Law within the last seven years;
    • Be admitted to practice law within the jurisdiction of one of the OAS member states (in the absence thereof, please indicate the reason);
    • Demonstrable professional or university experience in the area of human rights; and
    • Essay (maximum 5 pages) not edited by another person, on a topic in the area of human rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination that interests the applicant. The essay should be written first half in English, and the second half in Spanish, Portuguese, or French, using any format; if not possible, please explain (no cover letter or bibliography required).
  10. Required Documents: The following documents are required in order to be considered for the fellowship:
    • Letter of interest (cover letter from the interested person);
    • Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional);
    • Curriculum vitae;
    • Certificate accrediting the second language;
    • A copy of law degree and the grades obtained;
    • Proof of admittance to practice Law within the jurisdiction of one of the OAS Member States (if this is not possible, please attach an explanatory note);
    • Essay (maximum 5 pages) not edited by another person, on a topic in the area of human rights of persons of African Descent and against racial discrimination that interests the applicant. The essay should be written first half in English, and the second half in Spanish, Portuguese, or French, using any format; if not possible, please explain (no cover letter or bibliography required).
    • Note: All supporting documents required for the fellowship -with the exception of the essay- may be submitted in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese. Only simple copies of the original documents are required. There is no need to translate or legalize them.
    • Letters should be addressed in general to the INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS.
    • Subject to the discretion of the ES/IACHR, the finalists will be asked to answer additional questions and meet with the team of the Rapporteurship.
  11. Benefits:
    • The ES/IACHR provides a monthly stipend of US$3,200.00 during the period of the fellowship. With the stipend provided, the fellow is required to acquire health insurance of their choice for the duration of the fellowship, and must provide proof of coverage to the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR;
    • In the case that travel to Washington, D.C. is possible during the period of the Fellowship: Round-trip airfare, economy class, from the place of residence of the fellowship recipient to Washington, D.C., USA. No funds are provided for terminal and transit expenses. This is subject to existing travel and consular service restrictions for the duration of the containment measures of the pandemic;
    • The ES/IACHR will issue a certificate of participation in the fellowship program to those who successfully complete the full term of the fellowship.
  12. Responsibilities of the person selected to initiate the fellowship:
    • The selected fellow must formally accept the fellowship, in writing, indicating to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that they are fully available to begin the fellowship remotely, with full-time dedication. Depending on future travel possibilities, the fellow will be required to move to the headquarters of the IACHR to complete the fellowship period.
    • In the case that travel to headquarters in Washington, D.C. is possible, the IACHR will purchase a round-trip air ticket -economy class- between the country of origin or residence and the headquarters of the ES/ICHR in Washington, D.C.;
    • In the event that the fellowship has been accepted, but for any justifiable reason cannot be completed, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights must be notified immediately so that it can decide on the appropriate actions and make the necessary arrangements;
    • In the event that travel to Washington DC is possible, it is the responsibility of the selected person to apply for and obtain, in a timely manner, the corresponding visa(s) to enter the United States of America and/or transit countries (if applicable). The ES/IACHR will not cover any costs related to the processing of immigration documents or visas. The IACHR will issue a communication to the selected person certifying their official selection from the ES/IACHR so that they can apply for the corresponding visa, which will be their sole responsibility. Additionally, the OAS will issue a diplomatic communication to the Embassy or Consulate where the selected person will apply for the visa, also certifying their selection;
    • It is the responsibility of the selected person to have the technological means necessary to begin the fellowship remotely on the date established by the IACHR; they must also present report to the headquarters on the date set, according to travel possibilities.
    • If the selected person does not travel on the scheduled dates or changes the route, they must reimburse the cost of the air ticket or any additional costs incurred. This includes any additional expenses that the ES/IACHR incurred, such as, extra cost for lodging during the person's trip from his or her country of residence to Washington, D.C;
    • In case of resignation, cancellation or termination of the fellowship after the program has begun, without presenting sufficient evidence of the cause to the ES/IACHR, the ES/IACHR must be reimbursed for all expenses incurred on the person.

To complete the electronic application form, click here.

The selection results will be informed via email to each applicant once the process is concluded. Any questions can be directed to: CIDH_BECA@oas.org

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States does not discriminate against any individual, intern, fellow, employee, or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a parent.

This fellowship offered thanks to the support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID).