The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies is seeking well-qualified applicants for the position of Libya country Researcher within the Arab Regional Advocacy Program.
JOB TITLE: Libya Country Researcher
PROGRAM: Arab Regional Advocacy Program
LOCATION: One of CIHRS’ regional offices.
DURATION: 1 year, with possibility of renewal
This position reports to the head of ARAP’s Research Unit.
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (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), Pan-Africa Human Rights Defenders Network and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). CIHRS currently has offices in Cairo, Egypt; Tunis, Tunisia and Geneva, Switzerland.
CIHRS was awarded the French Republic Award for Human Rights in December 2007.
The Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP):
The mission of the ARAP is to identify, protect, and empower human rights actors in order to strengthen the human rights movement in the Arab region with the aim of protecting and expanding the public sphere, focusing particularly on the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.
The ARAP is a regional program that is designed to increase the ability of national and regional human rights actors to achieve positive change around human rights issues. ARAP focuses on enhancing the campaigning tactics of these actors, with a specific emphasis on creating synergy between national, regional, and international points of advocacy and influence. This is achieved through a partner-based process that involves research, capacity-building, network creation, and joint advocacy initiatives.
ARAP regularly engages with partners at international human rights mechanisms and other international advocacy targets, including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, League of Arab States, and other multilateral forums, as well as in strategic capitals in the Arab region and around the world. The ARAP is currently expanding its country presences in the Arab region and strengthening its engagement at international forums.
The Libya Country Researcher:
The Libya Researcher will be a member of a team made up of country and thematic officers and researchers located in multiple countries throughout the Arab region as well as staff dedicated to conducting advocacy at international organizations and in capitals throughout the world. As the country resarcher responsible for Libya, you will be at the forefront of efforts to strengthen, empower, and protect the Arab regional human rights movement through your specific work on Libya at a critical juncture in the movement’s history. More concretely, you will be responsible for putting in place a country strategy for engagement on Libya that combines research, capacity-building, network-building, and advocacy initiatives in order to achieve the realization of the ARAP mission within your target country: Libya.
In particular, the work of the Libya country researcher will be centered around the following aims:
- Identify and Reveal:
- Identify critical actors within the human rights and pro-democracy movement in Libya
- Identify and reveal the main challenges and threats for these actors
- Identify and reveal the main challenges and threats to democratic freedoms in Libya
- Identify main opportunities and methods to strengthen the work of these actors and to expand democratic freedoms in Libya, with a particular focus on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association
- Protect Libyan human rights defenders and organizations from attacks and other forms of repression
- Protect the public space and democratic freedoms in Libya from repressive policies, laws, and practices
- Empower local actors to achieve positive change on human rights issues in Libya, including through:
- Capacity building on how to conduct effective advocacy and engage on multiple levels (national, regional and international)
- Building and expanding networks and establishing allies on the national, regional, and international levels
- Increasing visibility of Libyan human rights actors and their work
- Increasing cooperation among human rights actors in Libya to mobilize a national network of partners around strategic priorities as determined through a collaboration between ARAP and these Libyan partners
- Integrating and combining national-level priorities, research, and campaigns in Libya into the regional and international advocacy initiatives of the ARAP
- Integrating international and regional tools and advocacy outcomes into national-level campaigns and partner tactics
- Empower local actors to achieve positive change on human rights issues in Libya, including through:
In order to fulfill these aims, the Libya country researcher will have to carry out the following tasks:
- Maintain a thorough understanding of the state of human rights in Libya. This knowledge will be used to define research and advocacy focuses, as well as for producing the chapter of CIHRS’ annual report on Libya.
- Conduct a mapping of actors working on various human rights issues in Libya, with specific focus on civil and political rights.
- Meet regularly with relevant ARAP and CIHRS staff to establish research, capacity-building, and advocacy priorities for Libya, and continue to discuss and revise these priorities as needed. This will be based on CIHRS’ and ARAP’s mission, priorities and areas of expertise, information about most pressing issues, discussions with Libyan partners, and an evaluation of what issues lack attention by other human rights actors and/or require increased attention.
- Collaborate with local partners to carry out advocacy campaigns around these rights issues of focus.
- Respond to urgent needs in Libya, particularly through advocacy, in conjunction with the rest of the ARAP team.
- Assist with other tasks as necessary.
- Conduct on-going research to develop an in-depth understanding of the state of human rights in Libya, and provide other ARAP members with up-to-date information about human rights and other related developments, with a particular focus on freedom of expression, assembly and association.
- Continually monitor the work of partner organizations, government sources, and media regarding both target issues and the general state of human rights in Libya.
- Conduct first-hand research as necessitated by gaps in available information on identified target issues.
- Monitor the developments of specific cases, such as particular instances of rights violations, new legislation, etc. which are relevant to target issues.
- Identify established and emerging trends related to the state of human rights in Libya.
- Compile research material to report on identified rights issues through press statements, reports, or other documents for publication both on a regular basis and in response to urgent situations as they emerge.
- Compile information throughout the year for the annual report chapter specific to Libya, submitting drafts of the chapter periodically throughout the year for review.
- Complete research papers as agree upon in the country strategy set in collaboration with relevant ARAP and CIHRS staff.
- Conduct thorough fact-checking and maintain careful documentation of sources of all research information.
- Advise ARAP and CIHRS staff on potential points of focus for advocacy regarding Libya and provide them with researched information on target issues to be used for advocacy purposes.
- Prepare advocacy documents based on research, including press statements, written / oral interventions, talking points for meetings or presentations, etc.
- Attend and participate in advocacy initiatives on national, regional, and/or international levels, as appropriate.
- Assist partners in integrating advocacy outcomes from the international and regional mechanisms to strengthen national-level campaigns around rights issues.
Networking and capacity-building tasks
- Assess the state of civil society in Libya, their areas of focus and priority, the quality of their work, and their strengths and weaknesses, with particular focus on actors working in area of civil and political rights and democratic freedoms.
- Identify potential areas for capacity-building of partners.
- Meet/maintain contact with partners working on Libya on a regular basis to remain up-to-date on their work and to maintain strong organizational relationships.
- Expand CIHRS’ network of partners working on Libya.
- Help to mobilize/coordinate coalitions of partners to carry out campaigns around identified rights issues at the national level.
- Pursue research and advocacy projects together with Libyan partners, including through helping them to engage in new forms of analysis and advocacy (e.g. legislative review, submissions to international rights bodies), thus building their capacities in the process.
- Identify Libyan partners to participate in advocacy opportunities, trainings, conferences, etc.
- In conjunction with other ARAP members, organize and carry out capacity-building exercises and trainings, including trainings on how to use the international and regional human rights mechanisms.
- Assist in the planning and execution of trainings, conferences, or other events as needed.
Skills and experience
- A minimum of 3 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
- Proficiency in Arabic and English
- Strong interpersonal and social skills, with ability to establish and sustain partnerships and allies
- Self-motivation and capacity to work independently
- Organization and reliability
- Excellent writing and oral communication skills
- Excellent analytical skills and an understanding of the sociopolitical context in the Arab region, with a strong understanding of the situation in Libya
- Demonstrated commitment to universal human rights
- Willingness and ability to travel and work extra hours (sometimes during weekends)
- Ability to work well under pressure and adapt to emerging situations and changing priorities
- Strong ability to work as part of a team and in a consultative manner
- Ability to work respectfully in a multicultural environment
- Strong problem-solving skills
Applications close on 15 November, 2014.
Interviews will take place the following week. The candidate should ideally begin as of December 1, 2014.
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 ‘Libya Position Application’. No telephone call is needed.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
CIHRS is an equal opportunity employer.