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Call for applications: Communications Officer


DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) is a regional non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Kampala, Uganda, that seeks to strengthen the work of human rights defenders throughout the sub-region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. DefendDefenders works in Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia/Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. More information is available on our website, and social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).

DefendDefenders is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented staff member to support and promote the work of the organisation as a Communications Officer. The successful candidate must be able to work independently and effectively, and be a team player that can provide guidance.


The Communications Officer is responsible for the planning, execution and/or overseeing of all communications related tasks. Amongst other things, this will entail:

  • Manage DefendDefenders’ public profile, online and offline;
  • Produce regular media and communications output, including press releases, a monthly newsletter, and a monthly “HRD of the month” profile, and proofread/edit all materials to be published;
  • Maintain and ensure strategic use of DefendDefenders’ website and social media platforms;
  • Develop online and offline campaigns to highlight the work of DefendDefenders and the situation of human rights defenders, including informative/promotional videos, photos, and infographics;
  • Design print and digital promotional materials, ensuring that all materials published are in line with DefendDefenders’ branding and style guidelines;
  • Maintain good working relations with strategic media actors and partner organisations;
  • Assist the department in its communications strategies and output at the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights; and
  • Train and support human rights defenders in strategic and effective communications.


Applicants must be willing to relocate to Kampala, Uganda, and must possess:

  • Excellent written and editing skills, with outstanding attention to detail;
  • Experience operating audio-visual recording equipment;
  • Knowledge and experience with Adobe Creative Cloud and WordPress/Elementor;
  • Knowledge and experience with social media monitoring and campaigning;
  • Exceptional interpersonal communications skills;
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines with minimal supervision. The successful candidate must be self-motivated, highly organised, and a team player; and
  • Willingness to travel.


The following criteria are desirable:

  • Advanced degree in journalism, mass communication or any related field;
  • Demonstrable interest in human rights and familiarity with the East and Horn of Africa sub-region; and
  • Fluency in French, Arabic or Portuguese is an added advantage.



  • Full-time position based in Kampala, Uganda;
  • 12 months contract period, renewable based on performance and availability of funds;
  • Health insurance (in Uganda) and travel insurance are provided; and
  • The selected applicant must be based in Uganda or able to relocate to Kampala immediately, or within a short timeframe.



Apply with the following documents in a single submission:

  • Letter of motivation;
  • CV including two references;
  • Unedited writing sample between 1000-1500 words (preferably on the human rights situation in one of our mandate countries); and
  • Short analysis (250-500 words) of our Instagram page including ideas how to grow our audience.


E-mail your application to [email protected] no later than 10 March 2021.

Please do not attach copies of qualifications/diploma at this stage. Only complete applications will be reviewed. All materials should be submitted via email. We regret that owing to the volume in applications only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.


Equal employment opportunities and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at DefendDefenders where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established under international human rights principles.