International Advocacy Officer

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Dec 03

Position description

CIHRS was established in 1993 as a regional NGO dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights. Its mission is to promote and protect human rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. CIHRS works to protect civil society, sustain and revive the human rights movement in the MENA region, and to counter anti-democratic forces that undermine human rights at the local, regional and international levels. For more than 25 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 Director of its Egypt Office was recognized as the laureate of the 2017 Martin Ennals Award.

CIHRS’s Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP) is designed to increase the ability of human rights actors in the Arab region to achieve positive change by building and sustaining cooperative platforms of solidarity and action, 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 sustained, targeted advocacy initiatives. To achieve this the ARAP is currently expanding its advocacy operations in multiple locations, and regularly engages with international partners to influence advocacy targets including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, other multilateral forums, as well as in capitals in the Arab region and around the world.


Position purpose and description:

As International Advocacy Officer for the ARAP you will become a leading international campaigner on human rights in the Arab region, and work full time through both advocacy, and conducting outreach and liaison with the media to advance the human rights goals of CIHRS and its partners. This will require you to help build capacities and assist partner organizations and human rights defenders from throughout the Arab region, to achieve outcomes from international advocacy and add in-house expertise to CIHRS on how to effectively influence and engage with international media targets.

The International Advocacy Officer performs advocacy, outreach, and research duties in the context of the European Union, national capitals, the United Nations and other advocacy targets, as well as other tasks, according to the needs of the organization and its partners. The International Advocacy Officer will also focus on expanding CIHRS’ outreach and impact with international media outlets and online. As the International Advocacy Officer, you will be working as part of  a team of co-workers located in multiple countries. You will 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.


Duties and responsibilities:

The IAO reports to the Senior EU Advocacy Representative of the Brussels Office of CIHRS (BO-CIHRS) and the Director for Europe, under the overall direction of the Senior Director for Advocacy. Tasks and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Regularly monitor and engage on human rights and institutional developments at EU and other advocacy targets (state capitals, UN, etc) as required in order to assist in the formulation and implementation of effective human rights advocacy campaigns;
  • Engage in human rights advocacy year-round with officials within EU institutions, governments, multilateral institutions and other relevant actors such as intergovernmental bodies, international, regional or local NGOs, and international media personnel, on important human rights priorities for the Arab region. Specific focus will be on priority countries in the Arab region as decided on by CIHRS;
  • Formulate and execute a plan to expand and strengthen the ability of CIHRS to create influential and systematic relations with leading international, regional and national media outlets/individuals with a view to ensuring stronger media coverage of the human rights goals and priorities of CIHRS and its partners:

- Perform media outreach, including the regular use of online media platforms, the production of press releases, the building of working relations with media outlets and individuals;

- Build and maintain an up-to-date network and database of relevant journalists, media professionals and media outlets;

- Assist and/or help train relevant CIHRS staff and partners to build their capacities within the areas of media strategy and outreach;

  • Assist in the production of research and analysis on 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;
  • Articulate clear and measurable advocacy objectives in cooperation with colleagues, and establish coherent strategies, plans and activities to achieve them;
  • Assist in the production, editing, formatting, and submission of CIHRS and partner communications to the various international advocacy targets;
  • Assist and/or supervise logistical arrangements  associated with the activities of the ARAP and CIHRS when required;
  • Regularly consult and strategize with CIHRS staff and partner organizations to formulate international and national advocacy strategies and goals that reflect the mission of CIHRS;
  • Participate in CIHRS program meetings to assist in the formulation and creation of organizational and program specific goals, plans and strategies;
  • Ensure your activity reporting and other donor obligations are satisfied;
  • Assist in the recruitment and management of interns who will assist you in your mission and goals.

Competitive salary rate for non-governmental organizations located in Brussels, dependent on qualifications and experience.


The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is seeking well-qualified applicants for the position of an International Advocacy Officer (IAO) for the Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP). This position will entail performing regular, high-level advocacy directed towards EU bodies and EU member state governments in Brussels and national capitals. The position will have a particular focus on expanding CIHRS’ advocacy outreach within media outlets and online, targeting global, European and Arab media. Candidates with a background and strong networks in the field of journalism, and/or with a proven record of accessing traditional and new media, are encouraged to apply.

  • An advanced degree in a relevant social science field (e.g. Human Rights, Political Science, International Relations, Media studies, law etc.), an academic background or education related to human rights is an asset. Relevant work or volunteer experience in the human rights field will also be taken into consideration;
  • Minimum 3 years’ working experience (full-time), either in the human rights or media fields on the MENA region or on humanitarian and human rights issues; previous experience in international advocacy and/or work at a media organization is a strong asset;
  • Proven commitment to universal human rights and/or humanitarian issues;
  • Experience engaging with and building advocacy campaigns directed at multilateral bodies and governments is  preferred;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, fluency in Arabic highly preferred, knowledge of French, German or other European languages 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 presentational skills;
  • 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.

Application instructions

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 submit your full application to [email protected] and indicate which position is being applied for in the subject line of the email.

 All applications must be submitted by: 9 January 2019.

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

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