Intern | Protection of Civilians/International Humanitarian Law (PoC/IHL)

April 17, 2019
Washington, D.C.
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
Entry Level
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


InterAction’s Protection Team is seeking applications for an unpaid Summer 2019 internship position in Washington, DC. InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) working in every developing country.

Primary Responsibilities
The specific work of an intern will be based upon an individual’s learning and professional goals, as tied to the Protection of Civilians/International Humanitarian Law (PoC/IHL) portfolio in InterAction’s Protection Team, within the larger Humanitarian Policy & Practice (HPP) Team.

A large portion of the intern’s time will be dedicated to supporting InterAction’s PoC/IHL workstream. This support will include:
• Conducting background research and writing policy memos on key issues affecting the protection of civilians in armed conflict, such as:
- Protection issues emerging in relation to U.S. security partnerships in specific country contexts
- Damage to and destruction of civilian property and infrastructure in military operations
- Displacement trends related to military operations
• Research and review of literature and training material relevant for the education of armed forces on the protection of civilians and specific issues of concern
• Monitoring and tracking news, reports, and data on the protection of civilians;
• Participating regularly in relevant internal and external meetings;
• Note-taking, editing, and contributing to various reports;
• Supporting the organization and implementation of internal meetings;
• Other ad hoc tasks in line with the intern’s professional goals.

Additional responsibilities may include:
• Providing administrative and logistical support for meetings, including writing summaries of the proceedings, and other activities of the Protection team;
• Supporting pre-mission arrangements for the Protection team;
• Completing research, outreach to members, and other projects as needed by Protection team’s work streams;
• Participating in various fora, including outside meetings at think tanks or the Hill;
• Debriefing to the team at the internship’s conclusion on learning and/or a work task completed.

Learning Objectives:
• Knowledge of key trends, issues, and priorities in the protection of civilians in U.S. military operations, U.S. security partnerships, and humanitarian contexts;
• Knowledge of U.S. policy processes relating to civilian harm mitigation, including at the level of the Department of Defense, Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Department of State;
• Demonstrate an understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL)/law of armed conflict (LOAC), international norms, and other key considerations relating to protection of civilians in armed conflict;
• Gain understanding of operational gaps, issues, and challenges in the protection of civilians;
• Gain understanding of NGO coordination fora and key elements of the global humanitarian architecture, including the roles of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), UN, and NGO community;
• Gain experience working in a professional, collaborative team environment;
• Develop research, analytical, communication, writing, and task/time management skills.

Additional Opportunities:
An intern can expect to have the following experiences beyond daily work duties through:
• Attendance at InterAction working group meetings – access to meetings of members, partners, and InterAction staff on a variety of current issues within the humanitarian assistance field;
• On-the-job learning about the humanitarian architecture, advocacy, policy, and operations;
• Access to senior-level staff members at InterAction for informational interviews;
• Informal networking with InterAction staff members and individuals from more than 180 member organizations.

• Strong organizational and communication skills;
• Strong research experience, past experience conducting desk research desirable;
• Excellent attention to detail;
• Ability to manage multiple tasks;
• Flexibility to meet changing deadlines and priorities;
• Positive attitude, proactive, and curious;
• Ability to work with minimal supervision;
• Interest, familiarity, and/or coursework in protection of civilians, international humanitarian law (IHL)/law of armed conflict (LOAC), and humanitarian action is strongly preferred;
• Specific interest, familiarity, and/or coursework in U.S. military operations, military doctrine, or security partnerships is desirable. An Armed Forces/Armed Services background is desirable.

Internship will range between 20 to 40 hours per week. Most work will occur at InterAction’s office, located in northwest Washington, DC. A small monthly travel reimbursement of $50 is available. A typical internship runs from June – August, but start and end dates are flexible.

Application Process:
To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to by May 3rd, 2019. Please include “PoC/IHL Summer Intern” as the subject line of the email. The position will remain open until filled.

Due to the expected number of applications received for each position, only short-listed candidates will be contacted. All applicants must be able to provide documentation that they are legally eligible to work in the United States for an extended period of time. No phone calls, please.

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