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The ICJ relies heavily on the additional human resource capacity, commitment and dedication offered by students or graduates to collaborate in its work. The ICJ highly benefits from the outcome of the research and contribution of ICJ interns.

Participation in such a programme offers interns the opportunity:

  • to gain practical experience of human rights legal and advocacy work at the international level;
  • to gain a better understanding of the ICJ’ goals and objectives and of how a Human Rights NGO is organised;
  • to gain exposure to the practical functioning of the United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms based in Geneva;
  • to gain valuable experience of working in a professional office environment;
  • to provide interns the possibility of working in a multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic environment;
  • to build professional and personal relations with colleagues and counter-parts who will be able to provide long-term professional advice, encouragement and support; and
  • to help interns in career development. For many the experience of an internship with the ICJ has established a life long commitment and career in the international human rights field.


Applicants are expected to:

  • be a postgraduate student or currently completing a postgraduate degree in law, political science, international relations or a related field. Priority will be given to graduates who have or are studying law, especially human rights or international law. Interns working for non-programme staff may be required to have studied another field related to their work at the ICJ;
  • be highly dedicated to the legal protection and promotion of human rights;
  • be well-organised, have strong research, analytical and drafting skills and able to work independently;
  • be computer literate as well as familiar with Internet research;
  • be highly motivated, able to work as part of a multicultural team and willing to apply themselves in a frequently pressurised environment; and
  • have spoken and written fluency in English and desirably French and/or another foreign language.


  • The intern’s responsibilities will be based on the needs of the ICJ, on the candidate’s interests as well as on the requirements included in grant/fellowship applications, when applicable;
  • ICJ interns are integrated into the ICJ’s staff and become part of a team of junior support staff who participate and contribute to staff meetings, discussions and briefing sessions, research human rights issues, draft papers and reports, maintain information databases, and provide support to other ICJ activities. The interns will also have the opportunity to attend lectures, and other events related to human rights held in Geneva;
  • ICJ interns are also expected to undertake some administrative duties in addition to their substantive tasks. Those working for non-programme staff may carry out other tasks.

Posts and duration

The ICJ offers continuous openings for internships in all its programmes and projects and for both legal and non-legal positions. The number of available intern positions depends on the resources availability at the ICJ to accommodate the interns.

Interns are hired for at least 4 months for non-EU/EFTA citizens and 6 for EU/EFTA nationals, and a maximum period of 1 year. Internship implies no intent of future employment by the ICJ.

Allowances and costs

Interns are responsible for all expenses and costs incurred during their internship. This includes travel, accommodation and any relocation costs. Moreover, the ICJ is unable to provide or organise travel nor housing for interns. Interns will be asked to provide proof of financial independence in order to issue the work permit by the Swiss authorities.

Residence and work permit

To enter Switzerland, a valid travel document recognized by Switzerland is required. For some countries, an entry visa may be requested. The Federal Office for Migration (FOM) keeps a list of countries from which a visa is required for entry into Switzerland.

Furthermore, the ICJ takes the necessary steps to facilitate obtaining residence and work permits for interns. The procedure for issuing work permits takes about 3 months for non-EU/EFTA nationals and around 2 weeks for EWU/EFTA nationals. The ICJ covers the administrative costs involved in issuing the permit and visa.

Health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory under Swiss law. However, interns may rather contract an international insurance if it covers at least the same benefits as the Swiss mandatory base insurance. Interns are bound to provide proof of health care insurance prior to the commencement of the internship.


Unsolicited applications can be addressed with a resume, cover letter and the names and contact details of at least two referees by email to

Please appreciate that due to the volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.