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African human rights defenders (HRDs) face a spectrum of interlocking challenges that often create a hostile working environment. At the inaugural All Africa HRDs Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1998, these challenges were enumerated and a strategy was developed to establish five sub-regional networks to meet the needs of HRDs in these sub-regions and build protection institutions at the national level. Significant progress has been made since 1998, Pan-African HRDs Network (PAHRD-Net) is made up of five sub-regional networks i.e. Cairo Institute for Human Rights for Northern Africa HRDs community, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, South African Human Rights Defenders Network hosted by the International commission of Jurists, and Central African Human Rights Defenders Network with the primary objectives of improving the capacity of and cooperation between the sub-regional networks and stabilizing Pan-African access to financial resources for protection measures, with a cross-cutting focus on meeting the needs of most at-risk HRD.

Human rights defenders work towards the protection of internationally recognized human rights, document violations and seek justice for victims. Their work greatly contributes towards the struggle against impunity and towards democracy and accountability. Despite international declarations and commitments by governments to respect their rights, human rights defenders continue to face intimidation, persecution, defamation as well as arbitrary arrest and physical mistreatment for their legitimate work.

The Pan-African HRD programme aims of providing ongoing and effective support to human rights defenders through building their capacity in security and protection management in order to ensure that those defenders can in turn offer greater protection to the victims and witnesses they work with, and furthermore seeks to support the efforts by other stakeholders to mainstreaming defenders’ protection into the agenda of key stakeholders, notably relevant national authorities, national and international organisations and foreign governments.

Key responsibilities:

• To work within the mandate of each sub-regional Network and follow the principles of impartiality and non- partisanship;

• To contribute to the development of the organisation security plan, update it and abide by it;

• To contribute to the development of a database relating to the risks faced by Human Rights Defenders (in particular to the security incidents);

• To develop security trainings sessions according to specific requirements of local, national and regional context;

• To report on training sessions (including on their evaluation and to propose any recommendation on possible adaptations);

• To analyse the situation of HRDs and HROs at risk in the sub region covered by the network; To assess training needs among target groups and identify areas of advocacy and contribute to the development of advocacy activities;

• To liaise with other sub-regional network, national and/or local HRDs organisations with a view to establishing or reinforcing relationships and possibly developing partnerships;

• To keep abreast of the political situation in the sub-region and contribute to the organizational political analysis.


The desired qualities are:

• Educational background BA Degree (International Human Rights / Humanitarian law, Political Sciences, Education, Social Sciences, etc…);

a master degree in the related field is an asset.

• Experience in human rights work of at least 3 years;

• Understanding of the UN Human Rights system, the European Union and African Union Human Rights systems;

• Experience with local human rights organisations and human rights issues;

• Field mission experience;

• Experience in the practical delivery of training preferably adult learning;

• Ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations on key issues by formulating positions, articulating options concisely, and making and defending recommendations;

• Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate, implement and review work processes and plans;

• Experience in a multi-cultural and/or international work environment;

• Ability to work under pressure and to multi task;

• Willingness and ability to travel for extended periods of time;

• Commitment to gender equality as well as to cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation and religious equality;

• Analytical skills as well as creative and interactive skills;

• Interactive/ Assertive/ Self-confident;

• Understanding of rules of participation and how to encourage inclusion;

• Diplomacy and extensive capacities to deal with challenges and situations of conflict constructively;

• Awareness of issues surrounding gender, ethnicity, etc.

• Proven ability to write and speak concisely and clearly and communicate effectively;

• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;

• Proven team work skills.


The position is based in Douala, Cameroon with frequent travels in the sub-region.


As precondition, the position requires candidates to fluently speak and write English and French to be able to successfully carry out their assignments. As part of the recruitment process, selected candidates will be required to attend a ToT. Details will be availed to the respective applicants in due course. Applications including a letter of motivation, CV and contact of three references should be sent to: program@defenddefenders.org no later than 6 February 2012. Subject letter: PAHRDN/SMO/01

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