UN OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program 2024 | Geneva, Switzerland

The United Nations (UN) Indigenous Fellowship Program is a remarkable initiative launched in 1997 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It came into being within the context of the inaugural International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

UN OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program

This visionary program is designed to provide indigenous individuals with a profound opportunity to acquaint themselves with the UN system and its mechanisms that address not only general human rights concerns but also the intricate nuances of indigenous issues.

The goal of the Indigenous Fellowship Program is to empower participants with the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for the rights of their communities and advance their cause on a global stage. This post contains more details about this program including what it encompasses, who can apply, and the application process.

The Indigenous Fellowship Program – Details

The Indigenous Fellowship Programme offers a unique platform for indigenous individuals to immerse themselves in the UN system and the mechanisms that uphold human rights principles.  Through rigorous training, fellows gain insights into the UN’s inner workings and the means by which it addresses human rights issues, with a specific emphasis on indigenous matters.

In addition, participants are better equipped to safeguard and champion the rights of their respective organizations and communities. Meanwhile, one of the amazing aspect of this program is its commitment to inclusivity. The training is conducted in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese.

Thanks to this multilingual approach,  participants from diverse linguistic backgrounds can fully engage with the program’s content and make the most of their learning experience.


The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was established in 1993 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. This office, often referred to as UN Human Rights, was founded just months after the Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action emerged from the World Conference on Human Rights.

This declaration was adopted by 171 states and serves as a commitment to human rights. The UN Human Rights operates with a clear that includes focusing on vulnerable populations and ensuring the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights.

Benefits of the OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program

Selected candidates for the Indigenous Fellowship, are offered a fully-funded opportunity, including a return flight ticket, living expenses, and basic health insurance for the duration of the training.

This support ensures that participants can focus entirely on their learning experience without any undue financial burden.

Eligibility Criteria for the OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program

  • The program is open to indigenous individuals, with a strong emphasis on their active involvement in indigenous communities or organizations.
  • There is no Age barrier to participate in the Indigenous Fellowship Program
  • Formal education is not a prerequisite, acknowledging the socio-economic challenges many indigenous individuals face in accessing traditional educational institutions.
  • Candidates must be willing to train other indigenous persons upon returning to their respective communities/organizations.
  • A very good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted is required for all Candidates

How to Apply for the OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Program 2024?

Are you eligible to participate in the 2024 edition of the Indigenous Fellowship Program? If yes, kindly apply using the guide below:

Selection Process

  • The selection of fellows adheres to principles of gender and regional balance, as well as the representation of diverse communities.
  • Pre-selected candidates from different language components are chosen by former indigenous fellows.
  • Interviews are conducted for the final selection, and partner universities collaborate to identify candidates with the right aptitude for the program.


Is there an age limit for applicants?

No, age is not a limitation for participation in the program. It is open to individuals of all ages.

Can non-indigenous individuals apply for the program?

No, the program is exclusively for indigenous individuals. Non-indigenous persons will not be considered.

Are scanned applications accepted?

Yes, scanned applications are accepted and can be submitted via email to the provided address. The email is stated on the official OHCHR webpage

What languages is the program available in?

The program is conducted in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese.

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