Advocacy Trainee to Civil Rights Defenders in Brussels

Are you passionate about human rights and want to work in an international environment with colleagues all over the world? Civil Rights Defenders is looking to recruit an advocacy trainee to work with human rights in Brussels and internationally.

Contract: Belgian “Convention d’Immersion Professionnelle (CIP)” Duration: initially 5-6 months
Start: between mid-September and early October 2020
Deadline for applications: Tuesday 25 August at 23:59 Brussels time

About us

Civil Rights Defenders is an international human rights organisation based in Sweden that defends people’s civil and political rights and empowers human rights defenders at risk. Civil Rights Defenders cooperates closely with several other human rights organisations and in Brussels, we are a member of the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN). The Europe Department advocates with both the general public and decision-makers for improvements in the human rights situation in Europe, with a focus on the Western Balkans and Turkey. Parallel to the long-term support to local partners in our countries of focus, we organise different events, participate in coalitions and conduct other joint advocacy and lobbying actions. Providing capacity building support and other types of assistance to human rights defenders is also part of our activities together with publishing ad hoc reports on the situation in a particular country or on a specific topic.

Areas of responsibility

The Advocacy Trainee is responsible for assisting with our programme in Brussels. Their primary responsibility will be to assist the Europe team (focusing mostly on the Western Balkans and Turkey) with the implementation of their advocacy strategy with the European institutions. However, cooperation with some of Civil Rights Defenders’ other programmes (Latin America, Asia, MENA, Africa and Eurasia) is foreseeable.

The Advocacy Trainee is based in Brussels and reports directly to the Brussels Programme Officer, but their work is not limited to a particular country of focus.

Key activities include:

  • Following and analysing the human rights situation in Europe, including in particular the Western Balkans and Turkey;
  • Assisting with organising and participating in advocacy visits (in-person if possible or else remote) for partners from the regions we work on (Western Balkans, Turkey, Eurasia, South-East Asia, Latin America, Africa) to Brussels, in cooperation with the respective POs;
  • Participating in CRD’s general advocacy before relevant EU bodies;
  • Monitoring of the EU’s activities concerning our target countries;
  • Drafting programme-related documents, to be used for advocacy and awareness-raising purposes;
  • Possibly assisting with the drafting of fundraising applications.

Qualifications required

  • A bachelor’s degree in Law, Political Science, International Relations or similar, including education on international and European human rights mechanisms;
  • A good understanding of the functioning of relevant European institutions (Parliament, Council, Commission and EEAS) and of their potential impact on human rights, especially in non-EU countries;
  • A basic understanding of the political context in the Western Balkans and/or in Turkey is an asset;
  • Some previous internship/work experience is also an asset, preferably in the non-profit sector or with the EU, UN or other international organisations;
  • Ability to work under limited supervision and take initiative under tight deadlines.
  • Fluency in English (oral and written) is essential;
  • Fluency in a Balkan language, Turkish or French is an asset;
  • Availability to travel in Europe if needed.

About the position

The Advocacy Trainee will be initially employed full-time for a period of up to six months (to be discussed) through a Belgian Contrat d’Immersion Professionnelle (CIP). An extension of the contract is possible depending on funding and on the Trainee’s performance. The applicant needs to already have the right to legally work in Belgium. At this stage, the work is expected to be partly remote, partly in-person depending on how things will evolve in the future, but the person is expected to be based in Brussels.


Submit a CV and a motivation letter of maximum one page, in English, to by 25 August 2020 at 23:59 Brussels time. Shortlisted people will be contacted by 7 September 2020 at the latest. Online interviews will be conducted.

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