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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.

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:

The Protection Officer will be responsible for maintaining and developing Sub-Regional Network's contacts with human rights defenders in the sub-region,undertaking research on the threats and attacks that they face, providing analysis and producing relevant materials to take action in their support.

The desired qualities are:

The Protection Officer is responsible for maintaining and developing Sub-regional network's contacts with human rights defenders in the sub-region, undertaking research on the threats and attacks that they face, providing analysis and producing relevant materials to take action in their support.

The successful candidate will have at least three years experience of human rights related work in Asia and excellent written and oral communication skills in English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic depending of the sub-region. Knowledge of three different languages is desirable. The successful candidate will have demonstrated sound political judgment and the ability to deliver accurate and objective written information in a high pressure environment dictated by the need to respond urgently to threats against human rights defenders. They will ideally have experience of working with human rights defenders and knowledge of the security risks that they face.

identify human rights defenders at risk and establish and sustain secure communications with them;

Undertake research on the threats and attacks that human rights defenders face, obtain information, verify it and provide input for reports and other related materials which can be used to generate action on their behalf, whilst ensuring the independence, accuracy and credibility of the information the Network publishes on the region.

 Provide analysis and briefing papers on the threats faced by human rights defenders in specific countries and provide expert input to Network's advocacy, media work, training activities and small grants program;

Maintain and update the relevant information on human rights defenders and action taken on their behalf in the database.

 Develop contacts and liaise with relevant regional and other organisations with regard to the Network's work for the protection of human rights defenders in the sub-region.

 Promoting improvement in legislation affecting human rights defenders, provide advice on development of relevant national legislation and present propositions to national authorities;

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

  Discharging protection duties mainly with regard to assessment and support to HRDs at risk;

Act as the focal point person for emergency support to HRDs at risk among PHRN members and the wider HRD community;

Conduct the needs assessment of human rights defenders under the protection programme;

 Assisting individual cases through interviews and correspondence with the appropriate authorities in respect of access to the status determination procedure and other rights

Intervene with authorities when there are violations of the law e.g. mistreatment while in detention, arbitrary detention, abduction etc;

Provide security advice to human rights defenders at risk;

Monitor the security and safety situation through contact with the human rights defenders and network members;

Undertake regular visits within the sub region to assess and monitor all protection issues, develop secure communication channels with human rights defenders and persons of concern to the project to be fully aware of their situation;

Ensure the registration, compilation of statistical information and other data concerning human rights defenders under protection programme and regularly prepare reports to relevant stakeholders to inform their interventions/support;

Liaise with like-minded organizations for cooperation in the areas of protection and support for human rights defenders at risk;

Preparing reports on the protection issues with proposals for intervention and monitor the security and safety situation through contact with the human rights defenders and network members;

  Set up and ensure the successful implementation of the internship programme in close collaboration with Network members;

To liaise with NGOs, international organisations and bodies working in the region on the protection of human rights defenders;

 To keep abreast of the political situation in the country and contribute to the organization’s political analysis.

The Protection Officer must be willing to travel on a regular basis as part of their role.

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;

. Ability to empathise and high level of emotional intelligence;

. Ability to manage stress;

• 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. 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/PO/01

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