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26 Sep 2019 - The EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism is looking for a 'Programmes' intern.

INFORMATION ABOUT PROTECTDEFENDERS.EU is the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect defenders at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide.

  • Operates a permanent and rapid response mechanism to provide emergency support and material assistance to Human Rights Defenders in danger, their families and their work.
  • Manages a support programme of temporary relocation for Human Rights Defenders at risk to relocate inside their country, within their region or abroad in case of urgent threat.
  • Supports and coordinates an exchange platform for organisations and stakeholders working on temporary relocation for Human Rights Defenders, including through the EU temporary relocation platform.
  • Provides training, support and capacity building to Human Rights Defenders and local organisations.
  • Monitors the situation of human rights defenders and advocates for a protection agenda for Human Rights Defenders at local, regional and international level.
  • Promotes coordination between organisations dedicated to support for Human Rights Defenders, EU institutions and other relevant actors.

The implementation of is led by a Consortium of 12 NGOs active in the field of Human Rights, namely Front Line Defenders, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR-Net), International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights (UAF), Protection International (PI), Peace Brigades International (PBI), Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF), Forum Asia and East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP). is coordinated by an independent Secretariat based in Brussels.


Based at the Secretariat's office in Brussels, the intern will support the Grants Officer under the overall supervision of the Head of Secretariat.

The intern will carry out a variety of tasks related to the purposes of the EU HRD Mechanism coordination and implementation, which will provide an opportunity for learning and achieving relevant work experience in the field of human rights at global and EU levels.

Tasks & General Responsibilities:

Allocation of grants: Temporary Relocation of Human Rights Defenders & Emergency Grants for Human Rights Defenders

  • Carry out the first assessment of grants applications received, preparing summaries to be submitted to the Grants Officer;
  • Contact references that endorse the grants application, in order to gather relevant information that validate the applications' credibility (background analysis, security analysis, need of immediate support);
  • Participate in meetings with the Grants Officer, preparing summary and briefing notes;
  • Follow up on the grants awarded, monitoring the status of progress of grants and liaising with stakeholders to receive intermediate and final narrative and financial reports;
  • Maintain up-to-date information within related folders and database.
  • General support to activities or events implemented by the Secretariat.


  • Ongoing studies (master's degree) in law, international relations, social sciences or related field. Experience in human rights would be an asset.
  • Good drafting and editing skills.
  • Ability to adapt to multidisciplinary work in the environment of a multicultural team.
  • Knowledge of EU institutions, UN procedures and regional mechanisms for the protection of human rights would be an asset.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish, oral and written. Good level of French.
  • Knowledge of Arabic or Russian would be an asset.


  • Preferable starting date: 1 October 2019
  • Duration: up to 6 months
  • Conditions: Internship agreement with University is required. Please note that this is an unpaid position. However, shall provide reimbursement of transportation expenses and meals.
  • The candidate needs to have permission to do an internship in Belgium.


Please send your CV and cover letter (please include information about your availability) before the 26 September 2019 by email at with the subject : 'Internship'. Early applications are encouraged, the position might be filled before the deadline.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Interviews will be held in our office in Brussels or via Skype.


For more information, please visit our website:

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