Fellowship programme for persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities
The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) was launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2005.
Through this Programme, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities - particularly young minority women and men - an opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with
international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The Fellowship Programme is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities the fellows belong to.
The MFP is held annually and currently has two linguistic versions: The English programme and the Arabic programme. The English programme has been running since 2005 and lasts on average 3 months. The Arabic programme started in 2007 and has been gradually expanding from 2 to 4 weeks.
The Fellows are based at the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland. The programme is interactive and consists of briefings on several topics (e.g. the UN system, OHCHR's work, human rights mechanisms and instruments) as well as individual and group
At the end of the Programme, all Fellow should have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms in general and those relevant to minorities in particular and be capable of further training their
Fellows are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; and a grant to cover modest accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the Programme and
other living expenses.
Who can apply?
1. The candidate must belong to a national, ethnic, linguistic or religious minority group (persons who do not belong to a minority group will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with minority communities and/or organizations)
NOTE: If your community identifies as indigenous, please do not apply to this programme but to our indigenous fellowship programme instead (see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/fellowship.htm). Please note that the indigenous fellowship is a separate programme and has different application forms and deadlines.
2. Age should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, although preference initially will be given to candidates between 25 - 35 years.
3. Formal education should not be a limitation to participation in the Minorities Fellowship Programme, if relevant experience can be demonstrated.
4. Candidates should have ability, willingness and possibility to train other persons belonging to minorities upon return to their respective communities/organizations and should agree to do so.
5. The candidates must have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted (i.e. English for the English programme and Arabic for the Arabic programme).
6. The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her organization and/or community. It is desirable that the sponsoring organization has a firm constituency or membership, is representative, undertakes work on minority issues and is composed of persons belonging to minorities.
7. The overall goal of the Minorities Fellowship Programme is to offer persons belonging to minorities the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the field of international human rights in order to assist their organizations and communities in protecting and
promoting human and minority rights. Therefore, it is important that the candidate proposed and nominated by a minority organization or community be someone who will return to his or her NGO to work in this field.
The selection of fellows reflects a gender and regional balance. The general human rights situation in the respective regions/countries is also taken into consideration as is the situation of the minority community to which the applicant belongs to.
For the English programme, a pre-selection of 15 (first five preferences and 10 alternates) candidates is made by previous minority fellows. The final selection of successful candidates is undertaken by an advisory group composed of OHCHR staff. As the Arabic programme expands in the future, similar selection process will
In view of the large number of applications, we regret to inform that only successful candidates will be contacted.
How to apply?
Fellowship applications will only be taken into consideration if they are fully completed. Both parts I and II must be signed and faxed, sent by regular post or scanned and E-mailed to the following address:
Minorities Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland
Telefax number: (+41 22) 928 90 66
Application forms need to be accompanied by an official recommendation letter from the nominating organization or community.
Any questions pertaining to the Minorities Fellowship Programme can be directed to the addresses mentioned above.
>>English speaking programme (sessions imparted in English):
The English speaking component of the Minorities Fellowship Programme began in 2005, as an initiative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The English speaking component of the programme generally runs for around 2 months (April-June). Fellows have the opportunity to receive training sessions and/or briefings with other UN agencies, including ILO, WIPO, UNESCO, UNITAR, UNDP, UNHCR and WHO.
The 2010 English programme will take place from 12 April until 11 June at the OHCHR in Geneva.
The candidates selected for the 2010 English speaking programme are:
Mr.Yoosuf Lebbe, Muslim from Sri Lanka
Ms. Nathalie Ahanda, Afrodescendant from France
Mr. Omar Esmael, Muslim from Kenia
Mr. Benjamin Utim, Christian from Nigeria
Ms. Ana Dalila Gomez Baos, Roma from Colombia
Call for applications for the 2011 English speaking Programme is now open. The deadline to apply for the 2011 English speaking Programme is 3td May
Successful candidates will be announced on this website by the end of 2010.
>>Arabic speaking programme (sessions imparted in Arabic):
The Arabic speaking component of the Minorities Fellowship Programme began in 2007 as a two-week pilot and expanded to three weeks in 2008 and to four weeks in 2009. It is intended primarily for persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities who are Arabic speakers and do not have a sufficient command of the English language to benefit from the longer English-speaking programme.
In 2008 and 2009, the programme coincided with the inaugural session of the Forum on Minority Issues in which the fellows actively participated. This will be the case also in 2010.
The 2009 programme took place from 26 October to 20 November and the following fellows benefited from it:
* Ms. Haliz Abdulbaqi (Kurd from Iraq)
* Ms. Farahnez Rezaei (Bahaii from Iran/Kuwait)
* Mr. Oubeid Ould Imijine (Haratin from Mauritania)
* Mr. Moustafa Mouammad (Kurd from Syria)
* Mr. Mohamed Badarne (Palestinian from Israel)
New The 2010 Arabic- speaking minority fellowship programme will take place from 22 November to 17 December 2010. The deadline to receive applications for the 2010 Arabic- speaking minority fellowship programme is Friday 30 July 2010.
* The implementation of the Fellowship programme is dependent on funding being made available