International Advocacy Officer

International Advocacy Officer

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Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies


Who we are:

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is a unique non-governmental organization that has demonstrated its credibility in the field of human rights since its inception in 1993. It advocates for human rights, democracy, and accountability across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

As a regional organization deeply embedded within the human rights movement in MENA, CIHRS fosters strong connections with civil society organizations on the ground while effectively engaging with major players in the international community. Through decades of activism, engagement, and monitoring of national, regional and global politics, CIHRS has gradually increased its institutional capacity and its international reach, while reinforcing its distinctive ability to connect local human rights violations in MENA to global security and stability concerns. The organization operates mainly through its offices in Tunis, Brussels, and Geneva. It combines international advocacy, research, capacity building, and human rights dissemination and media campaigns to elevate the voices of local human rights actors and defenders, and in doing so contributes to the protection of public space within the MENA region and to the building of sustainable, prosperous, and peaceful societies.

CIHRS’ Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP) is designed to identify, protect and empower Arab human rights actors, with a particular focus on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. The Program aims to increase these actors’ ability to achieve positive change by enhancing their campaigning tactics and creating synergies between national, regional and international advocacy activities and influence. This is achieved through a partner-based process that involves research, capacity-building, network creation and joint advocacy initiatives.

Position purpose and description:

As the International Advocacy Officer (IAO) for the ARAP, you will become an advocate on United Nations and other international advocacy platforms for human rights defenders throughout the Arab region and engage 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 an in-house expert at CIHRS on the political, legal and procedural aspects of United Nations human rights mechanisms and other relevant mechanisms in target countries.

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 Office 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.

Duties and responsibilities:

The IAO reports directly to the Director of the Geneva Office, under the overall supervision of the Senior Director for Advocacy. 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 CIHRS;
  • Articulate clear and measurable 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;
  • 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 to assist in the formulation and creation of organizational and program specific goals, plans and strategies;
  • Work with the Director of the Geneva Office to ensure activity reporting and other donor obligations are satisfied;
  • Recruit and manage interns to assist you in your mission and goals.


  • A Master’s degree in a relevant social science field (such as International Law, 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;
  • 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.

Commitment to equality:

CIHRS is committed to ensuring equality and non-discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion or belief in its hiring process. CIHRS is a multicultural environment that celebrates diversity. All employees are expected to promote and act in a manner that ensures a non-discriminatory, open and sensitive approach to others from different backgrounds and cultures.

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 submit your full application to and indicate “Application – International Advocacy Officer” in the subject line of the email.

All applications must be submitted by 26 June 2022.

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