International Advocacy Officer, Brussels

The application period for this position is now closed.

The application period for this position is now closed.

Human Rights House Foundation seeks a new International Advocacy Officer to coordinate the organisation’s advocacy priorities at the European Union, Council of Europe and OSCE and provide targeted strategic advocacy support to local partners within a portfolio of priority countries.

Candidates should have demonstrated experience in leveraging knowledge and understanding of European institutions, procedures, practices, and mechanisms to advance European and domestic policy objectives, preferably within the field of human rights. This position sits within the HRHF Advocacy Program, is based in Brussels, and reports to the HRHF Head of Advocacy.


  • Identify and advance, in consultation with the Head of Advocacy, advocacy opportunities within the EU, COE and OSCE.
  • Work closely with Advocacy Program colleagues to expand the organisation’s advocacy strategy to strengthen strategic engagement with key European institutions, actors, politicians, and other stakeholders in order to advance broader organisational priorities and support local advocacy priorities in priority countries.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with diplomatic missions and other stakeholders in Brussels, Strasbourg and Vienna.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key European Parliament Committees, Committee staff, and MEPs in order to advance key advocacy priorities.
  • Serve as spokesperson, as directed, for EU and COE press corps and selected media, in consultation with HRHF communications staff.
  • Represent the organisation, as directed, in various forums and other externally facing events in Europe and priority countries.
  • Organise and implement earned media and awareness-raising activities in Brussels and Strasbourg designed to advance local and international advocacy priorities.
  • Monitor relevant international and EU policy debates and provide regular updates to HRHF and partner staff.
  • Contribute to development of communications materials aimed at external and partner audiences.
  • As part of the Advocacy Program team, develop and deliver capacity-building initiatives, tools, and other resources for local partners on strategic advocacy campaigning.
  • Serve as primary point of advocacy support for local partners within a designated set of priority countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
  • Support local partner advocacy events in Brussels, Strasbourg and Vienna, including attending events and meetings with partners and providing guidance on good practice advocacy event
  • Work closely with the communication team to determine opportunities to digitally amplify earned media.
  • Support media relations requests, including drafting or editing press releases, op-eds, and other media-related materials.
  • Advance digital media strategy to promote organisational objectives on social media and
  • Contribute to and support broader organisational priorities and initiatives, as assigned.

Qualifications / skills / knowledge

  • Commitment to advancing human rights with a locally-led mindset.
  • Demonstrated and deep understanding of EU and COE human rights organs, mechanisms and forums and experience in utilizing these to advance domestic human rights policy priorities.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills, particularly drafting strategic advocacy materials for a diverse audience.
  • Understanding of civil society context in HRHF priority countries, preferably with experience working directly with NGOs in one or more of those countries.
  • Proven experience in maintaining positive relationships with EU and/or COE stakeholders and relevant diplomatic missions and representatives of member states.
  • Strategic thinking with up-to-date knowledge and understanding of broader EU and COE policy and/or international human rights debates.
  • Proven ability to work in close partnership with members of a small team including regularly sharing information and collaborating on delivery of events and activities.
  • Willingness to work physically independently and be responsible for ensuring regular communication with team members and manager.
  • Ability to work under deadline pressure, while managing competing organisational priorities.
  • Experience designing and implementing advocacy strategies to advance specific policy objectives, preferably within the human rights field.
  • Knowledge and understanding of how to strategically engage traditional and digital media as part of a broader advocacy strategy.
  • Fluency in English mandatory; fluency in French or Russian and/or language relevant to HRHF priority countries is a plus.
  • Ability to travel internationally up to 30%, including to HRHF priority countries.
  • Work authorization in the European Union is required.

Education / experience requirements

  • 7 – 10 years of relevant experience in policy advocacy at the European level.
  • Experience working at the international level and in cross-cultural settings with dispersed teams.
  • Experience in advocating for and communicating complex policy issues, preferably within the field of human rights, to state actors, news media and other stakeholders.
  • Undergraduate degree in human rights, political science, or other relevant field; graduate degree is a plus.
  • Significant experience providing guidance and support to locally-led policy advocacy campaigns is highly desirable.

About Human Rights House Foundation

Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) is an international organisation which protects, empowers and supports human rights defenders and their organisations. To accomplish this, HRHF brings organisations together in Human Rights Houses and unites the Houses in an international network.

HRHF advocates with partner organisations to promote the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, and the right to be a human rights defender at home and abroad, utilising its consultative status at the United Nations and participatory status at the Council of Europe.

Today, independent human rights organisations work together in 17 Human Rights Houses in 11 countries. The Houses are located in Eastern & Western Europe, the Caucasus, and the Balkans.

HRHF has 15 staff and is based in Oslo, with an office in Geneva and representation in Brussels and Tbilisi.


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