Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Relief Employment Opportunities

For students and visitors interested in working in the field of peacekeeping and humanitarian relief, POTI has compiled a list of helpful links to aid you.

Students often ask about employment and volunteer opportunities in the general areas of humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and related fields. Since essentially all POTI students are interested in professional development and careers in these fields, we are glad to share with you the names and links of organizations where such opportunities may be found. POTI students should be clear at the outset that the completion of POTI courses does not in any way ensure future employment. Our POTI Certificates of Completion are widely recognized as a demonstration of knowledge in a subject, and students are encouraged to list their POTI courses on job applications, including the official United Nations Personal History P11 form. POTI provides training and we are glad to guide our students in how to seek employment, but POTI is not part of the United Nations and we do not serve as a career placement agency. We do not accept job applications here.

Students should understand that employment opportunities with the United Nations are not easy to obtain. There will be periods when new missions are being mounted and there will be a need to recruit personnel, while at other times there may be no new missions and perhaps even some being concluded and resulting in an overage of available and experienced people to serve on missions. There are many individuals who wish to acquire such jobs and the assignment of individuals to these jobs can have many unpredictable aspects. However, if you are willing to be patient and also expand your job search to include both the United Nations as well as other organizations, there can be opportunities.

You might also consider volunteering with the UN Volunteers for deployment on a UN mission. This will be entry-level service and you will be on a UN Mission and in a group. Get information on how to volunteer through UNV.

Relief Web covers the area of humanitarian relief in general terms and also lists employment opportunities and maintains a current list of specific jobs.

If you are willing to work for humanitarian organizations and other organizations both in the US and world-wide there is a long list of job opportunities at Idealist. Many of these jobs will be outside what you might have originally considered but I do encourage you to look through it.

UNjobs is an excellent source of information about employment. This is a Swiss association and they do a good job of listing a wide range of jobs. It is also possible through their website to sort by organization and duty station.

Another source for information about job opportunities at the UN is provided by United Nations Jobs.

Individuals who are interested in serving as uniformed military peacekeepers should enquire through their national ministry of defence. In almost all cases, a person must first be a member of the military of one of the nations that provides troops to peacekeeping missions before they are deployed as a UN peacekeeper. For a list of the nations that provide military personnel to serve as UN peacekeepers.

Nations also provide police to UN missions, and for these opportunities applicants should enquire through their nation’s ministry of foreign affairs. For more on serving as a UN police.

In addition to the humanitarian relief organisations listed here, additional lists can be found at Musée de l'Ordre de Malte and at Global Corps.

There is an additional note of caution you should keep in mind during your application process. There are some firms that claim to have access to UN employment opportunities and for a fee they will assist an applicant. Be very cautions of such offers. These may be for-profit organizations that generate revenues from eager applicants. But the UN itself will never charge an application fee.

United Nations peacekeeping missions exist in the world’s most troubled and war-torn regions. Military personnel, police, civilians, volunteers, and NGO employees work to bring peace and relief under some very difficult conditions. The reward for this work goes beyond financial compensation, and can be found in our common goal as humans to help each other, to protect the vulnerable, to contribute to peace and stability, and to do our part to create a better world and a better future. Although there is a tendency to romanticize the idea of serving on peacekeeping or humanitarian relief missions, most of your days will be spent in just plain hard work that can be draining both mentally and physically, and under conditions that can be dangerous. Employment opportunities with the United Nations itself are not easy to find but we encourage you to be patient, persistent, not be discouraged, and remain flexible about serving with other relief organizations.

Here at the Peace Operations Training Institute we salute our students who train for such opportunities and we wish them well in their honourable careers of service.