Description of assignment title: Specialist in Human Rights and environment
Assignment country: Brazil
Expected start date: 10/04/2023
Sustainable Development Goal: 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist
DoA reserved for persons with disabilities: No
Host entity: OHCHR
Duration: 8 months (with possibility of extension)
Number of assignments: 1
Duty stations: Brasilia
Mission and objectives
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is part of the United Nations Secretariat and leads the organization’s activities to promote and protect human rights around the world. It is headed by the figure of the High Commissioner, the United Nations Chief Human Rights Officer, who is appointed by the Secretary-General.
The OHCHR has presences in more than 60 countries, fulfilling its mandate (established by General Assembly resolution 48/141 of December 20, 1993) to support the promotion and protection of all universally low human rights. The Office’s mandate includes support for the work of international human rights mechanisms.
Based in Santiago, Chile, the OHCHR Regional Office for South America has the role of supporting States, civil society, intergovernmental organizations and the United Nations system in the promotion and protection of human rights in nine countries of the region : Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
To this end, the OHCHR Regional Office for South America has human rights advisers who work in the United Nations Resident Coordinator Offices in eight of the countries under its mandate.
OHCHR has designed the project “Strengthening of the regional approach for the protection of specific human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean” which will begin to be implemented in 2023. One of the three pillars of this project corresponds to the promotion of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment that, in general, seeks to contribute to environmental and climate policies and plans that increasingly respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, so that people affected by environmental crises can access information, decision-making, public participation and justice in environmental matters. The presence of the UN Volunteer will allow the implementation of this project in a coordinated manner between the different OHCHR presences in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Within the framework of the delegated authority and under the supervision of the OHCHR Regional Office for South America of the coordinator of goal 3 of the project “Strengthening of the regional approach for the protection of specific human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean”, the UN Volunteer will carry out the following tasks:
• Support the activities on the environment, climate change, and human rights organized by the Office in implementation of the regional project on the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.
• Investigate, review, and analyze information on the environment, climate change and human rights.
• Strengthen the regional focus in Latin America and the Caribbean on the environment, climate change and human rights through the development of appropriate tools and the organization of training activities.
• Assist in the design and implementation of capacity building activities.
• Participate in working meetings and liaise with relevant counterparts on human rights and environmental issues.
• Contribute to the development of strategic institutional associations and joint activities in the field of human rights, the environment and climate change.
• Review and update information about events related to the environment, climate change, biodiversity, and human rights within the United Nations system and the Inter-American system, as well as other regional actors.
• Prepare and contribute to statements, speeches and reports on the issue of human rights, the environment and climate change, and
• Perform other related functions as required.
In addition to the above, UN Volunteers are urged to integrate into the UNV program mandate within the framework of their assignment and promote volunteer action through integration in communities in the development of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate part of their working time to one of the following recommended activities:
• Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day).
• Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country; – Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities.
• Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
• Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly arrived UN Volunteers.
• Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
As an active member of the OHCHR Regional Office for South America team, efficient, timely, attentive, client-friendly and quality support will be provided to OHCHR, the Office and its beneficiaries in fulfilling their functions, including:
• Activities to strengthen capacities in the area of human rights and the environment.
• Reports and monitoring and analysis documents prepared on the situation of human rights, the environment, climate change and biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean.
• Information compiled, analyzed and communicated as needed by OHCHR and the project “Strengthening of the regional approach for the protection of specific human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
• Strengthened networks and alliances with key actors.
• The perspective of age, gender and diversity is applied in a systematic, integrated, and documented way in all activities throughout the assignment.
• A final balance on the achievements achieved through volunteering for development during the assignment, such as reporting on the activities in which you have participated, and the capacities developed.
Age: 27 – 80
Nationality: Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.
3 years of experience in the field of human rights at the national or international level.
• Previous experience of at least 1 year in environmental matters.
• Excellent knowledge of international human rights instruments and tools for the promotion and protection of human rights is required.
• Knowledge of international instruments on the environment, climate change and biodiversity is highly desirable.
• Experience working with United Nations agencies and relevant regional actors in the fields of the environment, climate change or biodiversity is desirable.
• Experience working on issues and with actors from the Latin American and Caribbean region will be an asset.
• Self-motivated, ability to work with minimal supervision; ability to work to tight deadlines
Area(s) of expertise: Energy and environment , Legal affairs
Driving license: –
Portuguese, Level: Fluent, Required
English, Level: Basic, Required
Spanish, Level: Basic, Desirable
Required education level
Bachelor degree or equivalent in Law, environment, political science, international relations, or social sciences with academic studies in human rights is required. A postgraduate degree in environment, climate change or related field is desirable (master’s or equivalent).
Competencies and values
Communication; Professionalism, Working in teams.
Living conditions and remarks
The assignment will be in Brasília, the Federal capital of Brazil and seat of government of the Federal District. Brasilia is a family duty station and classified A (hardship). The living conditions in Brasilia are good as well as the access to health services. The accommodation facilities are in general good, and the choice is wide.
As this is a national UN Volunteer assignment, the UN Volunteer will be responsible for arranging their own housing and other living essentials. National UN Volunteers are part of the malicious insurance plan.
Brazil is security level 3 (moderate). United Nations Department of Safety and Security UNDSS Brazil advises to exercise a high degree of caution in Brazil due to high levels of serious and violent crime, particularly in major cities. Violent crime as muggings, armed robbery, kidnappings, and sexual assault, is very high. Avoid shanty towns (favelas) in the big cities and if you are attacked or robbed, do not resist. Demonstrations can occur at any time and may turn violent with little or no warning. All United Nations personnel must scrupulously comply with UNDSS procedures and recommendations during their assignment in Brazil. For missions in rural areas or indigenous reservations, special procedures may apply; UN personnel should consult with the local DSS office in advance.
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy