American Bar Association (ABA ROLI)

ABA CHR Justice Defenders Program-Organization Consultants (West/Central Africa)

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Last update: Mar 4, 2024 Last update: Mar 4, 2024


Deadline: Mar 7, 2024 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Africa
Job type:Contract, up to 4 months
English, FrenchEnglish, French
Work experience: Min 6 years
Date posted:Mar 1, 2024


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Justice Defenders Program at ABA Center for Human Rights (the Center) is seeking a contracting organization based in West or Central Africa with expertise in one or more of the following issues: support for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) such as lawyers under threat, women HRDs, environmental defenders, marginalized groups (indigenous community, LGBTQ community, etc.), labor rights defenders, and journalists; judicial independence and independence of the legal profession; and freedom of expression and assembly. Particularly, the Center is looking for organizations with experience in mobilizing the legal and human rights defense community to enable and protect at-risk HRDs. The Center, in collaboration with the selected organization, seeks to provide technical legal assistance to HRDs as well as to support the rights of HRDs. The organization should have on-the-ground experience in the West or Central Africa region and possess an understanding of these issues both under international and national law.

The Center aims to incorporate innovative strategies to engage the legal sector, development agencies, and/or business sector to defend human rights defenders and civil society space, to promote labor rights and improve labor conditions, and to end impunity for rights violators. Proposals must include a methodology that identifies how (1) support will be provided to HRDs at risk in West or Central Africa to end, mitigate, or prevent reprisals against them for exercising their professional duties and (2) advocating for laws, policies, and practices that provide or reinforce effective protections for the independent functioning and safety of HRDs in West or Central Africa in accordance with internationally recognized laws and standards. We are specifically interested in proposals concerning the following thematic issues: attacks on the legal profession and the role of national bar associations in protecting lawyers under threat, reprisals against journalists, and the use of the military justice system on civilians.

This is an approximately four-month consultancy beginning on around March 6, and ending on or around June 2024, with the possibility of extension subject to funding. The selected organization will identify up to five cases, conduct research, and produce a report on various forms of state retaliation against HRDs and civil society actors working in the West or Central Africa region. The organization will also identify potential advocacy routes to engage domestic and international actors.

-Identifying potential cases to engage with for the Center under the Justice Defenders Program.
-Monitoring human rights situation and keeping the Center informed on any and all developments.
-Identifying potential cases (up to five cases) and preparing short case memorandum summarizing facts, legal issues, and why potential intervention of the Center under Justice Defenders is necessary.
-Identifying gaps in assistance as provided by others and ensuring there will be access with selected HRDs, local partners and other relevant parties.
-Gathering information and conducting relevant research on the selected cases.
-Implementing administrative processes to sustain connections with relevant parties in identified cases.

Conducting advocacy
-Identify and execute advocacy strategies for the HRDs’ cases with stakeholders including, but not limited to: UN mechanisms, regional human rights bodies, corporate accountability NGOs, and governments.
-Organizing advocacy events on the cases in collaboration with the Center such as roundtables or strategic litigation workshops/trainings.
-Participating in/organizing meetings with representatives from various local or regional non-profits, inter-governmental and governmental bodies, international organizations, etc. to advocate and push forth the Center’s recommendations on various calls to action.

Monitoring and Observing Trials
-Monitoring previously approved trials in accordance with international standards and the ICJ.
-Finding and working with appropriate independent/objective monitors and training them if required
-Submitting notes on the trial in a timely fashion in addition to writing and drafting a final report to be reviewed and approved by the Center

Research and Produce Reports and/or Papers
-Prepare, draft, and submit reports to the Center on one or more of the following topics: support for HRDs; freedom of expression and assembly; supporting marginalized and most vulnerable groups; the Rule of Law; and independence of the legal profession
-Facilitate translations of work into French, which will be covered by the Center upon prior approval
-In coordination with the Center, prepare a distribution strategy for each report and conduct follow up advocacy for these reports with specific next steps that could include but are not limited to:
 Advocacy activities targeting specific bodies, e.g. African Union, ACHPR special mechanisms, EU bodies, OSCE departments, UN bodies (UN Special Rapporteurs)
 Distributing the report(s) to engender dialogues with the relevant regional or international bodies and/or organizations working on similar issues/matters
 Organizing public events presenting the findings in the reports that the Center publishes
 Working to ensure media coverage/buy-in of the published report(s) via blogs, social media, articles, and other relevant activities

• Based in West or Central Africa or possess a strong and demonstrated professional network in the country/region, including on-the-ground activists dedicated to defending human rights/HRDs
• Demonstrated experience supporting HRDs, freedom of expression and assembly, marginalized and vulnerable groups, the Rule of Law, and/or the independence of the legal profession, particularly in West or Central Africa
• Excellent knowledge of UN, AU, ACHPR , and OSCE human rights standards
• In-depth knowledge of human rights monitoring and reporting methodology and practice
• Experience of designing and implementing projects, tools, or instruments to enhance the protection of HRDs is preferred
• Demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities
• Familiarity with international supervisory mechanisms, such as the ILO is preferred
• Ability to independently draft a report according to ABA standards
• Ability to communicate in English and French is preferred

How to Apply
Please send the following documents in a single PDF to and CC by March 7, 2024, EST. Interviews will be conducted within three weeks of the application deadline.
• Statement of interest detailing your experience working on related projects, and your availability through June 2024. (Maximum 1 page)
• Business resume/CV or relevant one-pager
• Proposal on approaches and methodologies for undertaking the above outlined responsibilities
• Cost estimate (per deliverable) for each of the responsibilities listed above