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 who investigates 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

The project now includes Impact Iran (, composed of more than a dozen organizations across the world, working to promote civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights in our country through engagement with United Nations member states, the UN mechanisms, and through participation in intergovernmental processes. Some of our member organizations include Centre for Supporters of Human Rights, founded by Noble Peace Laureate, Shirin Ebadi; Article 19; Center for Human Rights in Iran; and Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM), founders of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

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 international 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. French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, or Persian language skills 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.

To apply, please send 1) letter of interest (including your student ID number), 2) resume, and 3) 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

2017 United Nations Campaign information

Fact sheet on the benefits of the Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Human rights in Iran in infographics 2017




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