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Internship: detention unit

14-12-2012 Job Opportunity

Location: Headquarters

The Detention Unit is part of the Protection Division in the Operations Department of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Unit aims to provide support to staff members working in the field and at Headquarters on behalf of people deprived of their liberty. (Issues covered by the Unit's work include: ICRC detention methodology, detention-related law and policy, detention management, judicial guarantees, torture and ill treatment, treatment of detained foreign nationals, women and children, health, reform and change processes, etc.).
The Detention Unit is offering a one-year paid internship. The candidate will work in a team on a range of detention-related themes. There are seven team members, including two interns with different profiles (research and publications; information management.)

Responsibilities and tasks:

1. Improving the management of information on persons deprived of their liberty

Working with the Detention Knowledge Management Adviser, the intern will support the Unit’s review and improvement of its information management practices. The intern will in particular:

  • Create an inventory of existing documents and information-sharing tools, both physical and electronic
  • Support the re-organisation of physical and electronic information sharing tools
  • Update databases
  • Brief of  delegates going to the field on available sources of information on detention
  • Debrief delegates coming back from the field on their use of information tools and their additional needs

2. Event support

The detention unit is in charge of courses or modules relating to persons deprived of their liberty. It also organises or takes part in seminars and conferences on the subject. In support of the Unit’s training and event organisation tasks, the intern will:

  • Participate in the preparation of meetings and training courses
  • Support the management of meetings and training courses

3. Research

In support of the Unit’s planning and communication tasks, the intern will:

  • Draft summaries of documents and information notes
  • Analyse planning documents
  • Analyse and prepare presentations of detention statistics

4. Additional tasks

The intern might be asked to contribute to other areas of work of the unit, as and when required.

Qualifications, skills and experience:


  • University degree, preferably in social / political sciences
  • Working proficiency in English and French
  • Demonstrated ability to research, organise, and synthesise information
  • Interest in detention and protection issues
  • Interest in  information management
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Team player able to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Good general computer skills


  • Experience of working on detention/protection
  • Experience of Lotus Notes and/or other database use/editing
  • Experience of event or training organisation/support
  • Working proficiency in Spanish

What we offer:

  • The experience of working in a small, specialist team in an international, humanitarian environment
  • Increased knowledge of humanitarian work for the benefit of people deprived of liberty
  • Basic salary and benefits

The post is office, not field based and does not involve travel. Although motivation to build on the experience gained from this post by working on protection issues in future is an asset, the traineeship is not an automatic route to employment as an ICRC field delegate.

Duration: 1 year

Starting date: 1st March 2013

Interested persons fulfilling the above criteria should send a letter of motivation and CV/resume (including the contact details of two references) to David Wanstall (dwanstall@icrc.org) by 13 January 2013.

Candidates will be contacted before the end of January.