Intern – Protection Unit

UNHCR provides interns with a learning opportunity to gain knowledge and practical experience related to their academic programme or future work in a field related to UNHCR’s mission.

UNHCR is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic workforce committed to protecting the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless persons.

An internship provides the opportunity to learn about UNHCR’s activities, to gain initial work experience, and/or gain knowledge on a broad range of refugee related issues with a focus on Northern Europe (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden). As an intern in the Protection Unit based in Stockholm, you will join a team of specialized staff who have a strong focus on refugee and asylum law, including international and human rights law. You will actively participate in the work of the Regional Representation in Northern Europe and will be responsible for a variety of protection issues and tasks, including conducting research, preparing briefing notes and reports, representing the organization in meetings and individual case management. Your interest and expertise will be taken into consideration when guiding some of your workload. You will be expected to work independently, yet in close collaboration with colleagues and particularly fellow interns from the Protection, PI/communication and External Relations units. You are analytical, have strong writing skills and a genuine interest in international law.


  • Handle calls and letters from persons of concern who are seeking information and advice related to asylum or family reunification procedures in the region covered by UNHCR Northern Europe;
  • Handle individual cases raising special questions in the application or interpretation of the applicable refugee law principles;
  • Undertake independent research on legal issues relevant to domestic or international asylum legislation or practice;
  • Assist in the preparation of legal interventions;
  • Support and take part in Refugee Law and Protection training activities for authorities responsible for refugee status determination, judges and lawyers;
  • Gather and analyse information and prepare briefing notes and background papers on political, legal, social and economic developments which have a bearing on UNHCR protection activities in the area in order to promote the adoption of appropriate protection policies and activities; and
  • Participate in, when relevant, and report from seminars, meetings and other events relevant for the organization.


  • Recent graduate or final year student in law, and/or have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to UNHCR.
  • A specialization in asylum/migration/refugee law, European asylum law and/or international human rights law;
  • Work experience in the field of asylum, human rights law is an asset;
  • Fluency in oral and written English;
  • Working knowledge of one or more of the Nordic and/or Baltic languages is an asset, as well as knowledge of Arabic;
  • Multicultural competence and the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to work with others who are culturally different from self in meaningful, relevant, and productive ways.


Good to know when applying

Interns may be eligible for funding through scholarships available by universities, or other external sources and are encouraged to look into this. A food and transportation allowance of maximum 1,000 USD per month is available for un-sponsored interns.

It is the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institution to arrange for travel to and from the duty station upon commencement and conclusion of the internship. All related travel expenses, including visas, will be paid by the intern or sponsoring institution. UNHCR does not cover the cost of travel or visas.

All interns who are not nationals of the country where their duty station is located must show proof of valid medical insurance coverage, including illness, accidents and repatriation coverage, to cover the full period of the internship. UNHCR accepts no responsibility for any costs connected to medical insurance of interns.

You may also be interested to read the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

Prepare your application

Your application consists of three documents written in English:

  • A 1-page letter of motivation
  • A copy of your up-to-date CV/resume
  • A completed UNHCR Personal History Form

Submit your application

Applications for Spring 2020 are now closed. For internships starting in Autumn 2020 please check back in the Spring.

Please send your applications to [email protected].

If you have any questions, please contact Selma Aytan [email protected].

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.


Candidates with refugee or migration background are strongly encouraged to apply.