Human Rights in Iran Unit

In 2012, the Masters Program in International Affairs at Brooklyn College CUNY established the Human Rights in Iran Unit (HRIU) to provide research support to United Nations’ Special Rapporteur (SR) on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, an independent expert authorized to investigate evolving human rights conditions in the Iran in and to report findings to the UN.

This project includes the following efforts:

▪ Investigation of Iran’s human rights practices on rights specified in existing national laws and ratified international treaties. Monitoring rights in Iran through news reports, blogs, and other social media;

▪ Scholarly research on topics like Iran’s criminal justice system, gender equality, the treatment of minority groups, and the impacts of economic sanctions

▪ Coordination with non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders to monitor human rights developments in the country

▪ Conducting interviews with individuals with first-hand knowledge of rights abuses

▪ Contribution to and maintenance of the project website

For all report and other work of the SR, please visit the SR website,


To assist in this work, we seek interns to work approximately two days a week at our office at the Brooklyn College campus in Manhattan at 25 Broadway, for the course of one semester – spring, summer, and fall.  Interns may be current or recently graduate CUNY students or undergraduate students with a background in Iran.  While we do not expect any one applicant to have all of the following, we are looking for a team of interns who will combine the following experiences, skills, and specializations:

▪  Professional experience in human rights issues

▪  Academic specialization in international relations, particularly on intergovernmental organizations or in comparative politics, especially in the Middle East or Islamic societies

▪  Media experience (e.g. writing articles, organizing press conferences, drafting interview talking points)

▪  Training in research methods, including qualitative and quantitative methods

▪  Strong writing and analytical skills

▪  A critical perspective needed to understand and detect bias

▪  Ability to be diplomatic on sensitive issues

Internship Credit: Interns will receive 3.0 credit hours of class and/or a small stipend.


To apply for the next internship, please submit the following via email to by April 1, 2015:

1. Cover letter describing what skills, experience, and knowledge you could bring to the project, your interest in the project, as well as the time that you could commit to the project

2. Resume/CV

3. One letter of recommendation (as an e-mail message, word document, or PDF attachment).  The letter may be from a professor, employer, or supervisor.

For more information, please see or contact Prof.  Mark Ungar at

Background Information

• Special Rapporteur’s report to the Human Rights Council, March 2012:

• Special Rapporteur’s report to the General Assembly, September 2011: SR Iran 2011 first report

• Human Rights Clinic, February 24, 2015:  Human Rights Clinic Presentation


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