Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
19 January 2023

Open position

Research Assistant to UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan

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UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression Irene Khan is an independent
expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. The mandate is tasked with gathering
information about violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and
recommending ways to better promote and protect these rights.

The key priority areas of the Special Rapporteur are:
•    Impact of digital technology on freedom of opinion and expression
•    Media freedom and safety of journalists
•    Relevance of freedom of opinion and expression to economic, social and cultural rights
•    Freedom of opinion and expression as a means of empowering women and girls

We are looking for a Research Assistant to support the work of the mandate and the next report
to the Human Rights Council on the topic of freedom of expression and sustainable



The Research Assistant will undertake the following:
•    Research and analyse international law related to freedom of expression, access to
•    information and sustainable development
•    Participate and take notes in consultation and review meetings with experts
•    Contribute to the final report of 10,000 words
•    Support the general work of the mandate



•    Demonstrated ability to carry out independent research
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
•    Graduate degree with specialisation in international human rights law, development,
•    international affairs, or a related field
•    Expertise on sustainable development and/or digital rights is an advantage

Preference will be given to a PhD student based in Switzerland with a valid Swiss
residence/study permit. Ph.D students elsewhere will also be considered, provided they have
permission to work in the country where they are located, and they are affiliated to an academic
or policy research institution with access to library resources.
The position is outside the UN system.



February – April 2023
15 hours per week 



To apply, please send your CV and a short letter of motivation to by
27 January.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position may be filled before the
deadline if a suitable candidate is identified. Applicants are therefore encouraged to
apply early.