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Civil society search for courageous, principled UN Human Rights Chief

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 27 July 2022 (midnight New York time)

The UN is looking for a new High Commissioner for Human Rights at a time when the world is in crisis. Universal human rights are under threat or in retreat, including in established democracies. Those with the most power are increasingly committing the most egregious violations. Against this backdrop, the world needs a powerful global advocate for human rights to take up this post on 1 September 2022.

Anyone who meets the criteria set out in the UN’s official job description can apply for this role.  UNA-UK and partners are committed to widening the pool of candidates and building a diverse field of human rights leaders from different regions and backgrounds with experience beyond the diplomatic circles that so often monopolize top UN jobs.  

We need a human rights champion with:

  • A proven record of effective public advocacy at the highest levels to advance human rights
  • Demonstrated experience of working with civil society, minority and marginalized communities, human rights defenders and survivors of abuse, and a commitment to strengthening civic space and action
  • Demonstrated experience of combating impunity, pursuing redress and accountability for human rights violations, and standing in solidarity with victims of abuses
  • Expertise in human rights issues, processes and mechanisms, and the ability to serve as an inspiring and compelling voice on these matters, in private and public
  • Significant experience of running a large, complex department effectively and with integrity, including demonstrated commitment to protecting whistleblowers and preventing abuse in all its forms
  • A record of acting with impartiality and independence, including demonstrated willingness to apply a range of approaches to protecting and promoting human rights rather than relying solely on friendly dialogue with governments, including the ability to leverage quiet diplomacy when effective, and to speak truth to power when necessary 

The High Commissioner’s role is to be the world’s leading human rights advocate. We need a courageous and principled leader not a diplomat or political appointee. 

Have you got what it takes to be the UN’s next human rights chief?