United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador (UNHCR)

Applications are closed for summer 2022.

For summer 2023, the updated posting will be on the Arts Internship Office website

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

Ecuador is the country that hosts the largest number of recognized refugees in Latin America. As of April 2019, the Ecuadorian Government had granted the refugee status to 66.288 persons (97,91% from Colombia), and approximately 250.000 persons have requested asylum. Most asylum seekers also come from Colombia.

Comparing figures of 2017 with 2018, Colombian asylum requests have increased by 11%. From January 2018, up to date, 17,022 people have sought asylum in Ecuador; 31% are requests of Colombian population and 67% of Venezuelans. The increase of asylum claims from both, Venezuelans and Colombians, is due to, as mentioned, the continuous arrival of Colombians, and the arrival of Venezuelan population.

It is important to note that, the language of the office and direct work and daily contact with refugees is in Spanish, so an excellent working knowledge of Spanish is required.


To be eligible for this internship opportunity you must

  • Be a McGill full-time undergraduate or graduate (Masters level) student registered in the Faculty of Arts, returning in the semester following the internship.



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