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United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner has started Fellowship Programme for people of African descent. Interested individuals may send their applications to africandescentfellowship@ohchr.org to be a part of this programme.


What is the Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent?

The Fellowship programme for people of African descent is a three-week intensive learning opportunity for people of African descent, from the diaspora, who are engaged in promoting the rights of people of African descent.


It takes place once a year at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.


The Fellowship programme provides the participants with the opportunity to:

  • Learn about and deepen their understanding of the international human rights law and the UN human rights system, the international framework to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and intersecting issues with a focus on people of African descent;
  • Strengthen skills in developing project proposals, delivering presentations and submitting information to human rights mechanisms;
  • Gain first-hand exposure to human rights mechanisms;
  • Meet with a wide range of actors.


The Fellowship Programme was initiated by the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section in 2011 and was further supported by GA resolution on Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent (A/RES/69/16). The High Commissioner is the coordinator of the IDPAD.


Purpose of the programme

The aim is to strengthen participants' skills to contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries. The participants are equipped with the tools necessary to enhance the development of legislation, policies and programmes; to strengthen collaboration of civil society with governments; and to undertake local awareness-raising activities.


Stories from former fellows

Read testimonies of former fellows in Voices of the Decade

Voices of the Decade features 11 stories of fellows of African descent, providing a snapshot of the important and inspiring work achieved to promote the human rights of people of African descent throughout the world. Voices of the Decade is a call, and a source of inspiration, for everyone to work together towards recognition, justice and development for people of African descent.


Who can apply?

The candidate must be an individual of African descent living in the Diaspora.


  • The candidate must have a minimum of 4 years of work experience related to the rights of People of African Descent.
  • The programme is bilingual in English and French. The candidate needs to have sufficient command of one of the two languages to be able to participate fully in the programme.
  • The candidate has to submit a letter from an organization working on issues related to People of African Descent or minority rights certifying their status.
  • The candidates must be available to attend the full duration of the programme. The selected fellows will be expected to participate in different activities and to strictly follow the programme.


How to Apply?

THE CALL FOR APPLICATION FOR 2021 IS NOW OPEN. DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL 25 JULY 2021


Applicants are requested to submit the following documents in one single e-mail to africandescentfellowship@ohchr.org:


  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A completed, signed and scanned Application Form in one single document.
  • A Personal Statement (maximum 500 words) in which the candidate will explain his/her motivation for applying, and how he/she will use the knowledge gained from the fellowship to promote the interests and rights of people of African descent.
  • An Official Letter from the nominating organization or community certifying the status
  • A copy of the applicant's passport.
  • Please note that submissions with more than five attachments will not be accepted.


Important: Please mention in the subject header of your e-mail: "Application for the 2021 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent."


Name the attached document as follows:

  • LAST NAME First name – Type of document
  • Example: SMITH Jacqueline – Application form.doc
  • SMITH Jacqueline – A Personal Statement.doc
  • SMITH Jacqueline – Letter certifying Status.pdf
  • SMITH Jacqueline – Passport.pdf


Deadline for Applications: 25 July 2021.


Selection Process

The selection of the fellows will reflect gender and regional balance. The human rights situation of People of African Descent in the respective countries will also be taken into consideration.


Please note, that because of the volume of messages, applications will not be acknowledged. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.


Information for former fellows

  • OHCHR-Fellows partnership


Formal fellows are invited to apply to the OHCHR – Fellows partnership, through which the OHCHR provides support to events and initiatives of former fellows. Additional information on how to apply is available here: OHCHR – Fellows partnership: Call for application

Source: ohchr.org

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