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Are you DefendDefenders new Communications Officer?


Deadline: Sunday 19 January 2020
Kampala, Uganda
Start: February 2020



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.

DefendDefenders is seeking a highly motivated, self-starting, detail oriented, and well organised Communications Officer to support and promote the work of the organisation. The Communications Officer will be responsible for developing and distributing content on the organisation’s work and maintaining its public profile. The successful candidate must be able to work effectively under pressure, be a good team player, and be willing to travel occasionally, as required.

Minimum qualifications:

  • A post-graduate degree in a relevant field (Human Rights, Law, International Relations, Communications/Journalism Studies, or related field);
  • A minimum of two years’ experience working in human rights, ideally working within an NGO, academic institution, civil society organisation, or other directly relevant institution.

Required skills/experience

Applicants must have the following skills:

  • Excellent written and editing skills, with outstanding attention to detail;
  • Experience operating audio-visual recording equipment;
  • Knowledge and experience with WordPress and Adobe Creative Suite (especially Photoshop, Premier, and InDesign);
  • Analytical skills;
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a culturally diverse environment;
  • Self-motivated, organised, and the ability to meet deadlines with minimal supervision;
  • Willingness to travel.

The following criteria are highly desirable:

  • Familiarity with the human rights situation in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region, including work experience from the region;
  • Fluency in written and spoken French, Arabic or Portuguese.


  • Manage DefendDefenders’ public profile, both online and offline;
  • Contribute to DefendDefenders’ media and communication strategy for the coming 5 years;
  • Produce regular media and communications output, including press releases and a monthly newsletter;
  • Maintain and ensure strategic use of DefendDefenders’ website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube);
  • Design print and digital promotional materials;
  • Develop informative/promotional videos, photos, and infographics;
  • Ensure good working relations with strategic media actors;
  • Assist the advocacy, research and communications department in its communications strategies and output at the UN Human Rights Council and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  • Identify, explore, and utilise strategic chances for communication to highlight the work of DefendDefenders and the situation of human rights defenders, including online and offline campaigns; and
  • Train and support human rights defenders in strategic and effective communications.

Working conditions and term

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

Apply Now!

Apply by emailing in a single submission with the following documents: a letter of motivation, a CV, and two references, as well as unedited writing sample between 1000-1500 words, on the human rights situation in one of our mandate countries, to [email protected] no later than Sunday 19 January 2020.

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.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Leon Ntakiyiruta

As a child, Leon wanted to be a magistrate – whom he saw as agents of justice. Born in 1983 in Burundi’s Southern province, he came of age at a time of great social and political upheaval in the East African country. In 1993 when Leon was barely 10, Burundi was besieged by a civil war that would last for the next 12 years until 2005, characterized by indiscriminate violence and gross human rights abuses in which over 300,000 people are estimated to have died.In 2012, still struggling to find her footing in Kampala, Aida was introduced to DefendDefenders, where she was introduced to the organisation’s resource center, and assured, it (the center) would be at her disposal whenever she needed to use it.