Freedom of Expression

Fellowship “ Freedom of Expression Orlando Sierra”

About the Fellowship

Venue: Office of the Special Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS).

1889 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006,
United States of America.

Modality: On-site

Application dates: From December 20, 2023 to January 8, 2024 (23h59 GMT-5)

Start date: February 15, 2024 (tentatively)

Duration: 10 months


The Orlando Sierra Fellowship program makes it possible for a young professional to participate in the mandate of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression under the supervision of the Special Rapporteur. The fellow will be assigned to the monitoring activities carried out by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of freedom of expression in the hemisphere. In the long term, the fellowship seeks to strengthen civil society's capacity to monitor the right to freedom of expression and the use of mechanisms of the Inter-American system for the protection of human rights.

For the 2024 cohort, the Rapporteurship will give priority to professionals with a demonstrated interest in the Caribbean in order to improve monitoring of the situation of freedom of expression in that region.

About the Office of the Special Rapporteur:

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created in October 1997 as a permanent office with functional independence and its own operational structure, with the purpose of stimulating the defense, guarantee and promotion of freedom of expression and information in the hemisphere. In March 1998, its characteristics and functions were defined in general terms and a voluntary financial assistance fund was created for its operation.


  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of a member state of the OAS.
  • Be proficient in Spanish and English (mandatory) and demonstrate a basic level of French (desirable).
  • Demonstrate professional motivation in the field of human rights with special emphasis on the Caribbean, focusing on the right to freedom of expression and access to information.
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    •  Professional with a degree in journalism, law, philosophy and literature, political science, social sciences or related fields, from an officially accredited university.
    • (3) three years of professional journalism practice.
    • (6) six months of experience in issues related to the Inter-American Human Rights System.
  • Special value will be given to:
    • Knowledge and experience in human rights issues and population in condition of vulnerability;
    •  Knowledge and experience in the preparation of academic and/or journalistic research or analysis directly related to freedom of expression;
    • Previous work with NGOs defending freedom of the press or freedom of expression;
    • In addition to the mandatory and desirable languages, knowledge of other official languages of the OAS (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese) will be valued.

Required documents:

In order for your application to be considered, you must submit all of the following requirements:

  • Complete the application form and attach the following mandatory documents:
    • One (1) cover letter.
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation (it is preferred that at least one comes from a freedom of expression or human rights NGO in general).
    • Updated resume.
    • Certificates attesting to knowledge of second and third languages.
    • For lawyers: copy of law degree and qualifications obtained and proof of registration as a lawyer before the courts or the corresponding professional body.
    • For professionals from other academic disciplines related to this call: copy of degrees and qualifications obtained or certification of professional experience.
    • Develop a written work of up to (3)three pages, in accordance with the following:
      • Describe two events that occurred in your country or another country in the Americas in 2022/2023 with an impact or possible impact on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. The written work should be presented half in English and half in Spanish, using any format. In case of not being able to do so, please explain the reasons.
      • The facts should be written in a descriptive narrative style including all the data necessary to understand the case in an accurate, concise and complete manner. At least two completely independent sources should be used to report the case according to the examples that can be found in Chapter II of the 2022 Annual Report of the Office of the Special Rapporteur.
      • In at least one of the cases, include a final paragraph assessing the situation in light of the standards developed by the Inter-American system on freedom of expression and access to public information.


  • Remuneration: The fellowship offers a stipend of $3,200 per month.
  • Modality: On-site
  • The IACHR/Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression will award a certificate of participation in the Fellowship Program to the fellows who satisfactorily complete the entire period of the fellowship.

Responsibilities of the selected candidates:

  • Once an applicant has been selected, he/she should formally accept the fellowship in writing, confirming with the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights his/her availability to complete the fellowship during the specified time period.
  • In the event a candidate accepts a fellowship but cannot complete it, for whatever reason, he/she must immediately inform the Office of the Special Rapporteur of the IACHR so that the course of action may be decided.
  • If the candidate resigns, cancels or terminates the fellowship after the program has begun without providing sufficient reason and evidence to the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression for doing so, he/she will fully reimburse the Office for all costs incurred on his/her behalf.

Presentation of candidates:

The fellowship application and required documents must be submitted exclusively through the link indicated in the first paragraph of the "Required Documents" section of this page.

Applications submitted through other channels will not be accepted.


NOTICE: This fellowship is offered thanks to the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Switzerland to the project: “Freedom of Expression in the Americas” .