12 Dec

Five years after the kidnapping of human rights defender Razan Zaitouneh and her colleagues, 15 NGOs* stand in solidarity to remember them and call on the UN and international and regional actors to actively facilitate an investigation into what happened to the four human rights defenders. Join the world in acknowledging Zaitouneh’s outstanding contribution to human rights by visiting and sharing a website documenting her work. 

11 Dec

ISHR joins dozens of organisations and individuals today, ahead of a key U.S. congressional hearing, to call on Google CEO Sundar Pichai to respond meaningfully to broadly-held human rights concerns and cancel Project Dragonfly, Google's censored search app project.

09 Dec

States have a responsibility to protect fundamental freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The international community should refuse to turn a blind eye to gross and systematic human rights violations committed against women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. 

10 Dec

‘Women human rights defenders have flooded the streets, the airwaves, and the internet with their energy and their testimonials, bringing to light truths that are too often buried in darkness’ said a group of UN experts, recognising the important leadership role of women activists.

10 Dec

Today is Human Rights Day. Today is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s a day to say thanks and contribute to a better world through ISHR.

What documents are requested by the authorities to process the work permit?

It depends on the type of permit and if you are an EU/EFTA citizen or not.
Interns are usually requested to provide: a copy of the passport, photos, copies of university diplomas/certificates or transcripts, a CV, a work permit form, proof of medical insurance, and proof of funding.
More information on this will be given to you should you be successful in the application.

Can I extend my internship?

Under exceptional circumstances, an internship may be extended with agreement from all concerned, on the condition that the intern has or can obtain the appropriate work permit, but may exceed 6 months in total.

What is the length of the internship?

As a rule and with consideration for visa/work permit requirements, internships will be no shorter than three months and no longer than four months. 

How long does it take to receive the Swiss work permit? What is the process?

The process varies depending on your citizenship status.
If you are an EU/EFTA citizen (Bulgaria & Romania not included), you benefit from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. An announcement of your arrival is made by ISHR to the Swiss authorities and can be carried out shortly before the starting date of the internship.

Can I use ISHR's address for my correspondence?

No, you need to provide your address in Geneva.

Can I live across the French border?

You can live in French border region if you are from the EU/EFTA zone. Citizens from Bulgaria and Romania are limited to the Swiss border zone. For all non-EU/EFTA citizens, you can only live in France if you have a French residence permit.

When should I start looking for an accommodation?

Successful applicants are advised to begin searching for accommodation as early as possible, meaning right after receiving an acceptance letter from ISHR. Once you have secured accommodation, please remember to cancel your applications with other agencies and to send us the details of your address in Geneva.

Does the residence permit I receive allow me to get a weekend job?

With the residence permit you receive to undertake your internship at ISHR, you have the possibility to get a weekend job. Please note that the intern contract with ISHR specifies that during the course of the internship the intern will work exclusively for ISHR, unless arrangements have been made in advance with ISHR.

Will ISHR provide assistance in finding suitable accommodations?

ISHR does not cover any costs for living expenses during the internship. If you are selected, you will receive a list of possible accommodation options and we will put you in contact with our current interns.

Where can I get financial support?

ISHR is not able to fund internships.


Browse our articles:






ISHR commences work to develop an international Declaration on the Rights of Human Rights Defenders


ISHR publishes first Human Rights Monitor, connecting human rights defenders on the ground with international human rights systems and developments


ISHR facilitates global civil society engagement with the Second World Conference on Human Rights, which leads to the strengthening of women’s rights, the affirmation of universal rights, the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


ISHR provides training, technical assistance and support to its 1000th human rights defender


After 14 years of ISHR lobbying, advocacy and negotiation, the UN General Assembly adopts the landmark Declaration on Human Rights Defenders


UN Secretary-General appoints Hina Jilani as inaugural UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders, strengthening protection of human rights advocates at risk worldwide.


ISHR leads a successful campaign for the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights


ISHR co-founds and supports a range of international and regional human rights coalitions, including the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the West African Human Rights Defenders Network


ISHR contributes to the establishment and institution building of a new global peak body for human rights issues, the UN Human Rights Council


ISHR leads and coordinates the development of the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, strengthening legal recognition and protection of LGBT rights worldwide


ISHR’s sustained advocacy on the issue of reprisals and intimidation faced by human rights defenders leads to adoption of landmark UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning and strengthening protections against reprisals


Working with key NGO partners such as Amnesty International, ISHR leads civil society efforts to strengthen UN human rights treaty bodies, prevent their weakening and better connect their work with victims and human rights defenders on the ground


Working with supportive states and NGOs, ISHR advocacy leads to adoption of historic Human Rights Council resolution calling on all States to review and amend national laws to respect and protect the work of human rights defenders