Communication and Reporting Officer for the EU HRD Mechanism

Front Line Defenders

Brussels, Belgium

The EU HRD Mechanism

A consortium of 12 international NGOs have won the contract to establish and implement an EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism. The members of the Consortium are: Front Line Defenders, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR-Net), International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), Urgent Action Fund for Women Human Rights Defenders (UAF), Protection International, Peace Brigades International (PBI), Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF), Forum Asia and East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP). Front Line Defenders, RSF, OMCT and FIDH will form the Board of the Consortium. In order to implement the EU HRD Mechanism the Board will recruit an independent Secretariat for the project which will be managed by a Head of Secretariat. The EU HRD Mechanism will begin operations on 1st October 2015 with a contract for 36 months.


Under the supervision and management of the Head of Secretariat and with the assistance of the other personnel employed for the purposes of HRD Mechanism coordination: he/she ensures effective communication about the activities of the Mechanism and the programmes of support for human rights defenders at risk to potential beneficiaries and other relevant stakeholders. This will include the management and coordination of the Mechanism website and social media, as well as the production of narrative reports on the work of the mechanism and relevant partners, media articles, audio-visual materials, promotional materials and such other tasks identified by the Head of Secretariat. He/she is also in charge of following up on advocacy activities conducted by the mechanism/partners.

Tasks & General Responsibilities


  • Develops and implements a communication strategy for the Consortium under the guidance of the Head of Secretariat with a focus on both internal communication and external communication focused on human rights defenders, relevant parts of the EU institutions, others working for the protection of human rights defenders and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Is in charge of following up on advocacy components of the project, therefore has a general overview of the partners’ advocacy activities, plays a coordination role by trying to identify potential synergies/gaps, ensures sharing of lessons learnt and good practises;
  • Manages the Mechanism's public web presence and social media ensuring the maximum accessibility for human rights defenders working in the most difficult environments;
  • Manages the relationship of the Mechanism with media outlets and produces relevant media articles and materials;
  • Produces relevant promotional materials about the programmes offered by the Mechanism to human rights defenders;
  • Contributes to the coordination of the annual meeting of the HRD Mechanism and leads the documentation of the input from HRDs and other stakeholders.


  • Ensures direct reporting on advocacy components of the project;
  • Based on inputs given by the different staff members, produces narrative reports for the EU and relevant stakeholders on the activities and outcomes of the work of the Mechanism;
  • Prepares the weekly meetings with the EIDHR based on other staff members’ inputs.


  • Strong experience of delivering effective communications strategies and plans;
  • A strong track record of success in achieving measurable impact with communications (digital, press and institutional);
  • Experience in producing narrative reports and media items;
  • Experience in coordinating web content and social media;
  • Experience in coordination/following up on advocacy campaigns;
  • A deep understanding of the context in which human rights defenders work is required.


  • Excellent interpersonal communications skills;
  • Ability to adapt tone and content to a variety of different audience segments;
  • Skills in digital/press and institutional communication;
  • Strong command of English, both written and oral;
  • Good analytical skills and strategic thinking.
The Communication & Reporting officer will be based in the HRD Mechanism's secretariat in Brussels.
The post-holder will receive a gross annual salary of €38 380.

Applications comprising a CV with at least two references and a cover letter should be sent by email to recruit@frontlinedefenders.org by Monday 19th October. Interviews will be held in the week of 26th October in Brussels. The successful candidate will be expected to start work in November if possible. The initial contract will be for 36 months.

Overview of the EU HRD Mechanism


Human rights defenders at high risk and facing the most difficult situations in third countries, and the local actors who strive to promote and defend them, are supported by means of a worldwide, stable, comprehensive and gender-sensitive EU mechanism.
Over a period of 36 months the consortium will deliver the following activities, outputs and results with a particular focus on HRDs working in the most difficult countries and/or those who are particularly targeted including women human rights defenders, defenders of LGBTI rights, land rights and environmental rights defenders, HRDs defending the rights of indigenous peoples, minorities, people with disabilities, migrants and stateless persons, trade unionists promoting labour rights, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and others promoting fundamental freedoms, and HRDs challenging violations of economic, social and cultural rights.

Support to HRDs in the field

The Mechanism will deliver a faster and permanent EU response to support HRDs including through a 24/7 helpline and emergency grants ensuring that HRDs can access and implement urgent security measures to protect themselves, their family and their work. An EU temporary relocation programme will be established and HRDs at risk will be able to relocate inside their country, in the region or in Europe in case of urgent threat. HRD organisations have the means to implement activities adapted to changing local developments in order to advance a human rights agenda or to counter violations (including contesting laws, restrictions, sanctions and administrative provisions restricting their work).

Training, monitoring and advocacy

HRDs will receive support with capacity building including with regard to security and protection, digital security, stress management and financial and organisational management. The EU, the international community, other NGOs, the media and the public are more knowledgeable on the situation of HRDs collectively and individually. Intergovernmental institutions, international, regional and national human rights Mechanisms, influential states take action on individual cases and on legal, political and administrative provisions affecting HRDs.

Coordination and synergies

HRDs can better network and coordinate between themselves and with EU and international organisations and the coordination between HRDs initiatives and actors supported by the EIDHR is strengthened and there is greater sharing of lessons.

Outreach and visibility

The EU Mechanism will be promoted in such a way that it has high visibility and HRDs who are less well connected are able to access practical support. The HRD Mechanism will ensure the security of communications and information with regard to beneficiaries who may be at additional risk because of international support.