Organization: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Position: League of Arab States Advocacy Officer
Organizational Unit: Arab Regional Advocacy Program
Starting Date: Immediately
Contract Duration: 8 months, with possibility of extension
Salary: The remuneration will be commensurate with the experience of the applicant and competitive rates in Egyptian NGOs
Deadline for applications: 17 January 2013
Background about CIHRS
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is an independent regional non-governmental organization founded in 1994. It aims at promoting respect for the principles of human rights and democracy, analyzing the difficulties facing the application of International Human Rights Law and disseminating Human Rights Culture in the Arab Region as well as engaging in dialogue between cultures. A key part of CIHRS’ mandate is to help shape the understanding of the most pressing human rights issues within the region and then to coordinate and mobilize the key players and NGOs from across the Arab world to work together towards solutions. CIHRS enjoys consultative status in the United Nations ECOSOC, and observer status in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). CIHRS is also a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
CIHRS was awarded the French Republic Award for Human Rights in December 2007.
Background about the Arab Regional Advocacy Program
CIHRS has a long term strategic plan concerning Arab civil society participation in international and regional human rights mechanisms with two primary objectives. The first is to contribute to the process of utilizing the international and regional human rights mechanism such as the UN Human Rights Council, UN Treaty Bodies, Special Rapporteurs and other relevant regional institutions, the League of Arab States (LAS), the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. The second is to contribute to the strengthening and sustainability of the international and regional human rights mechanisms, through working to archive regular and systematic participation of Arab NGOs in the ongoing work of these mechanisms. The program is responsible for developing and delivering a number of submissions, interventions and other advocacy tools to the UN, LAS and AU in relation to human rights standards and protection mechanisms, developing policy papers and producing an annual report on the human rights situation in the Arab region. The Arab Regional Advocacy Program works in close coordination with other institutions which have similar focus.
CIHRS’ League of Arab States Advocacy Officer position aims at motivating, supporting and catalyzing the work of CIHRS and its national, regional and international partners on enhancing the human rights protection component within the League of Arab States. The ability to work with and motivate very different organizations and actors, managing joint initiatives is therefore crucial for this position. The Advocacy officer will act as a focal point for the League of Arab States within the Arab Regional Advocacy Program of CIHRS. S/he should develop an in-depth knowledge of the League of Arab States institutions as well as the human rights situation in the Arab region. S/he should be able to provide the program and partner organizations with timely and accurate background and updated information on developments in the League of Arab States, assist in devising advocacy strategies, and partake in the advocacy work. Under the supervision of the program manager, the advocacy officer is expected to undertake the following duties and responsibilities:
- Monitor and analyze the reform initiatives of the League of Arab States in coordination with CIHRS’ partners;
- Develop expert knowledge of the League of Arab States and its human rights mechanism;
- Keep up-to-date on political and legal developments in the region and analyze their impact on the reform process of the League of Arab States institutions;
- Develop initiatives for setting up a coalition of NGOs focusing on the engagement of NGOs with the League of Arab States;
- Develop advocacy activities that utilize the resources and influence of partner organizations to the greatest possible effect. This process will involve proposing strategies and innovative campaign tactics, followed by implementing diverse advocacy activities on the League of Arab States, in coordination with CIHRS’ partners;
- Propose advocacy and lobbying strategies relevant to the League of Arab Sates reform initiatives, based on the program’s policy and direction, and in coordination with other partners;
- Produce periodic reports, background papers, press releases and other written material to support CIHRS’ and its partners’ initiatives and advocacy goals with regards to the League of Arab States reform. These documents will be based on quality research, including interviews with relevant stakeholders, as well as library and internet research in close cooperation with CIHRS’ partners;
- In coordination with the Arab Regional Advocacy Program, develop and maintain a network of partner NGOs and human rights defenders in the Arab region who are willing to engage constructively towards a better reform of the League of Arab States institutions;
- Identify opportunities for capacity building and joint advocacy actions and coordinate the provision of training on League of Arab States institutions when needed;
- Identify opportunities for advocacy within regional and international human rights mechanisms, and other forums and partake in the coordination and implementation of these strategies;
- Edit and proof-read translated documents from Arabic to English and vice versa;
- Assist CIHRS in performing other duties as needs arise.
Skills and experience
- A minimum of 2 years experience working in the field of human rights or civil society organizations;
- A university degree in relevant subjects (e.g. Law, Human Rights, Political Science, International Relations, etc.). Masters Degree preferable; an academic background in human rights is an asset;
- knowledge of the League of Arab States institutions and other international and regional human rights mechanisms;
- Proficiency in Arabic and English, working knowledge of French will be an asset;
- Excellent writing and oral communication skills;
- Excellent analytical skills and a strong understanding of the sociopolitical context in the Arab region is expected.
- Demonstrated commitment to universal human rights;
- Willingness and ability to travel, work extra hours (sometimes during weekends), work well under pressure and adapt to emerging issues and changing priorities; a team-player but also capable of working well independently;
- Ability to work in a multicultural environment.
Applications close on 17 January, 2013.
Interviews will take place the following week. The candidate should ideally begin as of February 1, 2013.
Applicants should send a CV, cover letter, the contacts of two references, and an unedited writing sample in English, and either French or Arabic to [email protected] , with the heading ‘LAS Advocacy Officer application’. No telephone call is needed.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
Women are highly encouraged to apply.