Deadline: 24 October 2023
Overview of Services
The Human Dignity Trust (the ‘Trust’) is seeking to contract two Senior Advocacy Associates (the ‘SAA(s)’) to input into the development and delivery of key aspects of the Trust’s strategic litigation and legislative reform work in Sub-Saharan Africa. • Location: 1 x East or West Africa & 1 x Southern Africa
The Human Dignity Trust is a legal charity based in London, UK that supports local lawyers and human rights defenders to uphold human rights and constitutional law in countries where private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is criminalized. Currently, 66 jurisdictions worldwide maintain these criminal laws. Legal provisions that criminalize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people put them beyond the protection of the law, fostering a climate of fear, stigma and violence. These provisions also violate constitutional and international human rights law. The Trust provides pro bono legal and communications technical assistance at the request of, and in collaboration with, human rights defenders, local lawyers and other partners who wish to use the courts to challenge the laws that criminalize same-sex intimacy or related repressive governmental actions that are justified on the basis of the criminal law. We also provide legal, communications, and stakeholder engagement technical assistance to governments and civil society groups working to reform discriminatory, colonial-era sexual offence laws and enact legislation that protects LGBT people, women, persons living with disabilities and other marginalized groups. Since our inception in 2011, we have worked with partners in over 25 countries in all regions of the world. Our legal technical assistance is carried out by our expert staff team in collaboration with a panel of leading international law firms and barristers who assist us pro bono, and in the case of our legislative reform work also with our Commonwealth Group of Experts comprised of legislative drafters, lawyers, academics and other subject-matter experts.
Background and Purpose
The Trust is currently engaged in providing legal and communications technical assistance for both legislative reform and litigation work globally, including in the Sub-Saharan African region. Our focus is on exploring and advancing opportunities to decriminalise LGBT people, to effect wider change to sexual offence laws, to develop certain forms of protective legislation such as hate crime and equal opportunity laws, and to counter new and emerging anti-LGBT laws. In the coming years, depending on funding, the Trust is anticipating being able to expand our support for this type of work in the region, while ensuring it is locally informed and driven. To this end, the Trust is looking to contract two SAA(s), with proven success in promoting human rights through legal and/or policy change in jurisdictions that criminalize or have recently decriminalized private, same-sex, consensual sexual activity. The SAA(s) will play an important part in identifying, exploring, and advancing opportunities for strategic litigation and legislative reform in the region. The SAA(s) will be based and have extensive experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa, will be strategic thinkers, and will be able to build and maintain strong networks with diverse stakeholders across the region, including civil society, lawyers and senior government officials. They will have a strong understanding of human rights law and excellent interpersonal and organisational skills. The SAA(s) will work closely with our small London-based team of lawyers, researchers, communications experts, administrative staff, and other consultants based in their respective regions, and will be expected to travel several times per year regionally, and at least once to London, to engage with activists, lawyers, elected and government officials, and other stakeholders. Regrettably, as a consequence of the nature of the Trust’s work, the SAA(s) will be subjected to distressing critiques of LGBT people, in particular, and the successful individuals will have to tolerate this with resilience, tact, and professionalism.
- Degree or equivalent professional experience in law, human rights, strategic communications, intersectional advocacy, or a related field;
- Expertise in promoting human rights through legal and/or policy change, ideally in common law jurisdictions and particularly through legislative reform; • Significant experience working on complex, structural, human-rights compliant legal change;
- Ability to communicate complex legal issues to a wide range of stakeholders;
- Experience working in or on several jurisdictions within the region, particularly in Commonwealth jurisdictions;
- An understanding of the LGBT human rights movement or intersectional human rights movements within the region and globally.
- Strong written and oral communication skills in English, with a keen attention to detail.
- Ability to understand and adapt to differing and often sensitive social and cultural contexts, whilst employing compassion, tact and discretion.
- High level of computer literacy and familiarity with all Microsoft Office packages.
- Excellent organizational skills, including ability to prioritize tasks and manage deadlines.
- Ability and willingness to undertake regional and international travel, sometimes at short notice.
- Knowledge of and commitment to the human rights of LGBT people.
• Degree or equivalent professional experience in law, human rights, strategic communications, intersectional advocacy, or a related field;
- Experience of strategic communications within an NGO, IGO or government.
- Expertise in legislative reform with a focus on human rights.
- Experience of project management
- Written and oral communications skills in Arabic/French/Portuguese.
How to Apply
To submit your proposal, please email us your CV of no more than two pages, along with a covering letter of no more than two pages, outlining your proposal and how you meet the requirements set out in paragraph 7 above.
Proposals should be emailed to Richard Wagenlander at email@example.com, with the subject line “SAA Africa_ [Full name of proposal submitter]”.
If you can meet the essential requirements, have a disability and would prefer to apply in a different format or would like us to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to submit your proposal, attend any interview and complete any tests, please let us know in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org