Organization of American States Department of<br />Human Development
Beca CIDH Unidad de Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos 10-11 / Human Rights Defenders Unit IACHR Scholarship 10-11 -Rómulo Gallegos-



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This application must be completed on-line.

Human Rights Defenders Unit IACHR Scholarship – 10-11




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


2) Modality:                                                   On-site


3) Deadline to present applications:       July 15th, 2010


4) Start and End Dates:                    September 1, 2010 – August 15,   2011


5)  Length of the Fellowship:               11 ½ (eleven and a half) months.


6) Objectives:  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 with a special emphasis in the field of human rights defenders in the Americas.


7) Program: a) To assist with tasks of the Executive Secretariat of the Commission and in particular with the Human Rights Defenders Unit, under the supervision of the Unit’s Coordinator, during the period of the fellowship; and b) at the end of the fellowship, to present to the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR a detailed report on activities carried out by the fellow.


8) Requirements: 

·         Be a citizen of an OAS Member State;

·         Be bilingual in two of the official languages of the OAS (Spanish, English, Portuguese and French). It is necessary to attach certificates testifying the mastering of such languages. Knowledge of the other two official languages of the Organization is desirable;

·         Have graduated in law from an officially recognized university (attach copy of the degree and grades obtained);

·         Have a demonstrable professional interest in the legal field of human rights, especially on the work of defending human rights and on the situation  of human rights defenders;

·         Have received a university degree in law after January 1, 2003;

·         Be registered as an attorney before the courts or the appropriate professional body; in the absence of registration, indicate the reason;

·         Present a paper of up to five pages in one of the four official languages of the OAS, not edited by another person, about a theme related to human rights defenders;  


9) OAS Scholarship Selection Criteria:  In accordance with article 4.2. of the Manual of Procedures of the Scholarship and Training Programs of the OAS, OAS scholarships shall be granted based on the following criteria, where relevant:

•   The objectives and priorities established in the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development;

·         The training priorities of the Member states;

·         The merits and overall credentials of the candidate, including his/her academic and professional background;

·         An extensive and equitable geographic distribution for the benefit of all Member states and that takes into account the greater needs of the smaller and relatively less developed economies.


10) Benefits: 

    The OAS provides a total stipend of US$32,200.00 for the period covered by the fellowship, that is, US$2,800.00 per month for 11 1/2 months.  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. 


11)   Responsibilities of the Selected Candidates:

•    Once an applicant has been selected, he/she should confirm with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights his/her availability to complete the fellowship during the specified time period, and confirm his/her participation with the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture so that the OAS may proceed with the necessary arrangements for purchase of round-trip economy class air transportation between the candidate’s home country 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 and the OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Culture so they may decide the course of action to take.

    It is the responsibility of each selected candidate to request and obtain the necessary visa to enter the country of the fellowship, and/or transit visa (if applicable) in a timely manner.  The OAS will not incur in any expense related to the processing of immigration or visa documents. The IACHR of the OAS will provide the candidate a document certifying his/her selection as an official Fellow of the IACHR-OAS so that he/she may request the corresponding visa, which is the responsibility of the selected candidate. 

    It is the responsibility of the selected candidate to arrive in the fellowship locale in a timely manner so that he/she will be present for the commencement of the fellowship on the date established by the IACHR.

    The candidates selected should formally accept the fellowship of Professional Development, Education and Culture by completing and signing the “Fellowship Acceptance Form” which the OAS Department of Human Development will send promptly.  Only after the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture, has received the completed and signed form will they proceed with the necessary arrangements for the purchase of round-trip economy air transportation between the candidate’s country of origin/residence and Washington, D.C.

   If the selected candidate declines the fellowship after the flight ticket has been purchased and without authorization from the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture, or does not travel on the established dates or changes routes, the candidate will be responsible for the cost of the flight ticket or any additional costs incurred.

    The fellowship recipient will furthermore have to reimburse the GS/OAS the total cost of the airfare for travel from his/her country of residence to the fellowship site and back if, after the ticket has been purchased, he/she declines the scholarship without written authorization from the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture. The latter includes any additional costs, if any, incurred by the GS/OAS, such as extra costs for accommodation during the scholarship recipient’s travel to and from the country where the fellowship will be held.

   If the candidate resigns, cancels or terminates the fellowship after the program has begun without providing sufficient reason and evidence to the GS/OAS for doing so, he/she will fully reimburse the GS/OAS for all costs incurred on his/her behalf.


12) Presentation of Candidates:

Please Note:  If you were awarded an OAS Professional Development Scholarship in the past twelve (12) months or if you currently hold an OAS Scholarship for Academic Studies, you are not eligible to apply for another Professional Development Scholarship.


The online application form must be completed on-line and can be accessed at the OAS website in the following link that will direct you to the onsite Professional Development courses: scroll down to the end of the page, and click the “Continue” button to access the online application form.


All the additional forms must be completed electronically or in typewritten format.


Once the applicant has completed the online application form and submitted it, a copy will be sent automatically to his/her e-mail account. This completed form must be printed, signed and submitted with all the required documentation and additional forms found in the following link: to the Department of Human Development at 1889 F Street NW Washington DC 20006, before the deadline to submit applications. 



The Human Rights Unit fellowship is a Professional Development Program and not an Academic or Study Fellowship.

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