Closing Date : 2017-01-16
Duty Station : Basle, Switzerland
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Organization: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 16 Jan 2017

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies - Geneva Headquarters (CIHRS-GH)


JOB TITLE: International Advocacy Officer (IAO)

PROGRAM: Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP)

LOCATION: Geneva, Switzerland (Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Geneva Headquarters)

DURATION: 1 year, with possibility of renewal

REMUNERATION: Average salary rate for Geneva non-governmental organizations

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is seeking well-qualified applicants for the position of an International Advocacy Officer (IAO) of the Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP). The IAO reports to the Director of the Geneva Headquarters of CIHRS (CIHRS-GH).

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS): The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) was established in 1993 as a regional NGO dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights. Its mission is to strengthen the human rights movement within the Middle East and North Africa. For more than 20 years, CIHRS has played a unique and central role in identifying and responding to the challenges and needs of this movement and helping to shape its development. CIHRS enjoys consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and observer status with the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights. CIHRS has received numerous awards for its work including the French Republic Award for Human Rights in December 2007, and an award from the Library of Alexandria (2010).

The Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP): The ARAP is a regional program that is designed to increase the ability of human rights actors in the Arab region to achieve positive change by enhancing their campaigning tactics, with a specific emphasis on creating synergy between national, regional and international advocacy and influence. This is achieved through a partner based process that involves research, capacity-building, network creation and joint advocacy initiatives. To achieve this the ARAP is currently expanding its country presences in the Arab region and at international forums, and 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, other multilateral forums, as well as in strategic capitals in the Arab region and around the world.

The mission of the ARAP is to identify, protect and empower Arab human rights actors and strengthen the human rights movement in the Arab region in order to defend and expand public freedoms, with a particular focus on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

JOB PURPOSE: As an International Advocacy Officer for the ARAP you will become a consultant and campaigner on United Nations and other international advocacy platforms for human rights defenders throughout the Arab region, and act as a full time advocate at the UN and other international advocacy targets to further the human rights goals of CIHRS and its partners. This will require you to help build the capacities and assist partner organizations and human rights defenders from throughout the Arab region to effectively influence and attain outcomes from international advocacy targets and act as the in-house expert at CIHRS on the political, legal and procedural aspects of United Nations human rights mechanisms and other relevant national mechanisms in target countries.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The full-time International Advocacy Officer performs advocacy, outreach, training and research duties in the context of the United Nations and other advocacy targets, as well as other tasks, according to the needs of the organization and its partners. As the International Advocacy Officer you will be working with a small team of co-workers within the Geneva Headquarters of CIHRS, as well as with a larger team of program and CIHRS staff located in multiple countries. Finally you will also be working with partner organizations and human rights activists from the Arab region and around the world to carry out national, regional and global human rights advocacy campaigns and initiatives.

Tasks and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Follow and monitor human rights and institutional developments at the Human Rights Council, OHCHR, Treaty Bodies, and other relevant institutions and mechanisms in Geneva;

Pursue advocacy goals of CIHRS and its partners at the United Nations and other international advocacy targets (state capitals, EU, etc.);

Produce research and analysis on UN and international human rights policy and developments when required;

Provide training, support and assistance to partner organizations in the Arab region in their work and relations with international mechanisms and officials throughout the year;

Represent CIHRS in high-level international meetings, strategy sessions, events, trainings etc.;

Advocate and inform government delegations to the UN, governmental ministries, officials of intergovernmental bodies, international, regional and local NGOs and international media personnel year round on important human rights priorities for the Arab region, with a specific focus on priority countries in the Arab region as decided on by the Advisory Board of the ARAP and its partners;

Articulate clear and measurable communication and advocacy objectives, and establish coherent strategies, plans and activities to achieve them;

Perform media outreach, including the regular use of new mediums of media outreach such as Twitter, the production of press releases, the building of working relations with media outlets and individuals at the United Nations and elsewhere, etc;

Responsible for aiding in the production editing, formatting, and submission of CIHRS and partner communications to the various international human rights mechanisms

Provide and/or supervise and ensure logistics associated with the Geneva-based activities of the ARAP and CIHRS;

Regularly consult and strategize with CIHRS staff and partner organizations to formulate international and national advocacy strategies and goals the reflect the mission of the ARAP;

Participate in CIHRS and program meetings and retreats to assist in the formulation and creation of organizational and program specific goals, plans and strategies;

Work with the Director of CIHRS-GH to ensure activity reporting and other donor obligations are satisfied;

Recruit and manage a team of interns that will assist you in your mission and goals;

Provide administrative and other assistance to the Director of the CIHRS-GH when requested


A masters degree in a relevant social science field (e.g. Human Rights, Political Science, International Relations, etc.), an academic background in human rights is an asset;

Minimum 3 years (full-time) working experience in the human rights field on the MENA region, previous experience in international advocacy is a strong asset;

Minimum of 1 year working experience in the field of human rights within a country in the MENA region;

Very strong understanding of United Nations processes, international politics and international human rights mechanisms, experience engaging with and building advocacy campaigns directed at the UN and capitals is strongly preferred;

Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Arabic required, knowledge of French or German are assets;

Excellent analytical skills and a strong understanding of the political and social context in the Arab region and the human rights field is expected;

Strong public speaking and presentation skills;

Ability to formulate and carry out successful human rights advocacy campaigns;

Previous experience in capacity building is preferred;

Demonstrated commitment to universal human rights;

Willingness and ability to travel regularly, work extra hours (sometimes during weekends), work well under pressure and adapt to emerging issues and changing priorities;

The ability to work both as part of a team and to be individually motivated and organized;

Ability to work in a multicultural environment;

Willingness to take on new and challenging tasks and goals

How to apply:


All applicants must submit:

Updated CV or resume (including details of language skills)

Cover letter, containing two references with email and phone contact information

Please indicate which position is being applied for in the subject line of the email

All applications must be submitted by: 16 January, 2017.

Applications should be submitted to Ms. Muriel Lauchli ( AND Ms. Heba Hanna (

Only applicants who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

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