Intern – Protection

Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

This position is advertised open to  external candidates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Persons interested in applying for this position must be legally present in Aruba at the time of application, recruitment and hire.
Background information/Organizational Context

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. UNHCR had three years to complete its work and then disband. Today, over 70 years later, the organization is still hard at work, protecting and assisting refugees around the world.

UNHCR workforce is its backbone. The agency is present in 135 countries and as of 2020, it employs over 17,000 people, of whom around nearly 90 per cent are based in the field. UNHCR was launched on a shoestring annual budget of US$ 300,000 in 1950. But as its work and size have grown, so too have the costs. UNHCR annual budget rose to more than US$1 billion in the early 1990s and reached a new annual high of US$8.6 billion in 2019.

UNHCR in Aruba is part of the UNHCR Multi-Country Office in Panama, and supports the regional response to outflows of Venezuelans in Aruba and Curaçao. UNHCR works with governments in Caribbean countries to develop and strengthen their protections for asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons, analyses refugee status determinations for asylum-seekers, and monitors and reports on the treatment of refugees and stateless persons throughout the Caribbean region.

Interns will participate in a range of activities within the office, depending on their skills and interest, and will become familiar with the daily realities of working in a large humanitarian organization. The intern will (i) gain a deeper knowledge of principles and practices guiding the organization¿s interventions, particularly as they apply to the work of UNHCR in the Caribbean region; and (ii) develop professional working skills, such as legal analysis and writing, project and time management, prioritization, team work, presentation skills, and drafting. The work of the interns is not confined to a single research project, as interns will be directly involved in all operational aspects of our work.


The interns will assist with casework and policy work related to the assistance and protection of asylum-seekers and refugees in the Caribbean, including assisting with all aspects of UNHCR¿s Mandate and programming.

Responsibility and Authority

While the precise tasks of interns vary, considering the dynamics of the Caribbean region and other Office priorities, as well as the specific skills, competencies and areas of interest of the respective intern, the main tasks in which interns are involved are:

Protection/Legal internship
¿ Conducting protection interviews with the refugees and asylum seekers and assisting with the Helpline;
¿ Analyzing asylum decisions for asylum-seekers in the Caribbean region, including country of origin research and legal analysis;
¿ Conducting research on Caribbean immigration laws and procedures, asylum procedures, analysis of constitutional changes and best practices;
¿ Conducting research on access to rights and services for refugee and migrant communities;
¿ Assisting with UNHCR¿s human rights reporting related to the Caribbean states;
¿ Support to administrative tasks as requested.
¿ Monitoring news for maritime incidents and migration flows in the Caribbean; and
¿ Undertaking special projects and translating documents and correspondence, as needed.


In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria for all internships:
¿ Recent graduate (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO; and
¿ Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of the Organization.
¿ Candidates who have immediate relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister) working as staff members of UNHCR are not eligible.
¿ Fluency and strong drafting skills in English required;
¿ While not being a formal requirement, any relevant work experience will be taken into account in the selection of interns.

The candidate should demonstrate the following skills:
¿ Strong research, analytical and drafting skills;
¿ Excellent oral communication skills;
¿ Knowledge of UNHCR¿s mandate, international refugee and/or human rights law;
¿ Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, as well as within a team;
¿ Good time management skills;
¿ A high level of computer proficiency, with familiarity with electronic databases preferred and proficiency with

Specific criteria:

Protection/Legal Internship:
¿ Should have a legal background or be student studying human rights, international affairs, political sciences or a related subject, with knowledge of international and local law. Students pursuing legal studies should ideally be in their final year of study and have taken an international law or asylum law course.
Please note that for this job opening the following languages are required/desirable:
English is required
Spanish or Dutch is required
Papiamento is desirable.
Please note that this position is offered under an internship agreement for (3) three months with possibility of extension for an additional (3) three months.
The internship is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.30am to 5:00pm from Monday to Friday (40 hours per week). Interns are responsible for their own health insurance, housing, and any other related documentation. Non sponsored Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party (sponsoring institutions) will receive an allowance to partially help to cover the cost of food, and local transportation. There is no expectation of employment at the end of the internship.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified and might be requested to sit for a test. Only short-listed candidates will be notified. No late applications will be accepted.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted during the application. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
The closing date for submission of applications is 14/10/2021 (Midnight Geneva time).

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.