Human Rights in Iran Unit

In 2012, the Masters Program in International Affairs and Global Justice established the Human Rights in Iran Unit (HRIU) to provide research support to United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over the last several years, the project has evolved to include, Impact Iran, which promotes Iranian civil society efforts to engage with the UN human rights system. For more details, see and follow Impact Iran on twitter.

In brief, the work of the unit includes the following:

▪ Investigation of Iran’s human rights practices on rights specified in existing national laws and ratified international treaties.

▪ Monitoring human rights in Iran through news reports, blogs, and other social media and in coordination with non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders.

▪ Organizing public advocacy campaigns aimed at UN member states and leading high-level human rights discussions to collectively spark action by the international community to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all in Iran.

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

Internships: Every semester we are on the lookout for student interns at the graduate and undergraduate level, especially from Brooklyn College. Applicants should have a strong interest in some combination of human rights, international relations, and engaging with civil society for social change. Applicants should demonstrate precise attention to detail, the ability to follow instructions, conscientiousness about checking one’s own work, a positive attitude, a proactive approach, and good judgment. Persian, French, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese language skills are a plus but not required.  We appreciate students in International Affairs and Global Justice who also have training in journalism, information technology, and other social sciences.  The internship requires at least 9 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters; more during the Summer (total hours for a semester are 126 hours).  Interns are expected to attend weekly office hours, which are scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays as of April 2018.

To apply, please send

  1. letter of interest, including a) your student ID number, b) the semester you are interested in interning, and c) the hours during the week you would be available
  2. up-to-date resume
  3. brief writing sample

to Prof. Janet Elise Johnson, who is the faculty coordinator, at  The internship is unpaid but can be done for Brooklyn College credit.


Background Information




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