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Human Rights & Justice Specialist (Job)

Location : Cairo, EGYPT
Application Deadline :28-Mar-11
Additional CategoryMillennium Development Goals
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year


The United Nations Charter affirms the centrality of human rights for the achievement of peace, security, and human development. This was reaffirmed in the Millennium Declaration, when Member States resolved to strengthen national capacity to conform with international human rights principles, treaties and standards, as well as in the Secretary-General’s report: In Larger Freedom. At the Beijing Conference, women’s rights were recognized as human rights. The UN General Assembly continues in its support to progress in the application of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and, in a hallmark decision, Morocco has very recently acted to remove all reservations it had placed upon ratification with regards to some of its provisions. The UN General Assembly also adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006. It has received system-wide support from the UN agencies which committed to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

At the regional level, the Arab States have made important strides towards the promotion and protection of human rights. The Arab Human Development Report series, 2000-2004, championed by the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), concluded that Arab countries “need to embark on rebuilding their societies on the basis of: full respect of human rights and freedoms as the cornerstone of good governance, leading to human development and the complete empowerment of Arab women, taking advantage of all opportunities to build their capabilities and to enable them to exercise those capabilities to the full”

Through the application of a Human Rights-based Approach to Development Programming (HRBA) and gender mainstreaming   RBAS continues to support its country offices in addressing issues of systematic discrimination, social exclusion and inequality among different segments of societies, including gender-based discrimination and discrimination against persons with disabilities..
RBAS is now seeking to identify a Human Rights Specialist to help further the human rights-based approach to development in support of its country offices.
The post will be anchored in the Governance Practice within the RBAS Regional Support Centre in Cairo, but will work closely with, and inform all other practices and cross-practices.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the general supervision of the Deputy Regional Director, Regional Support Center, Cairo, the direct supervision of the Governance Practice Leader at the Centre, and in consultation with the Country Operations Division at RBAS HQ,  the Human Rights Specialist  will perform the following functions:
  • Provide policy, technical advisory support and training in the areas of human rights, including  gender equality and access to justice;
  • Provide technical support and capacity development to national human rights institutions  and other stakeholders in the countries of the region, in consultation with the relevant COs, to advance the ratification and implementation (including both de jure and de facto compliance) of international human rights treaties, norms and standards and to advance access to justice;
  • Provide technical support and capacity development (including in the area of legislative drafting) for legislative compliance with international human rights treaties, in particular to advance CEDAW legislative compliance  and the application to national law of the  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, which came into force in May 2008.
  • Develop rosters of: human rights,  gender and legislative drafting specialists with specific expertise on human rights and gender equality  issues in  the Arab States region
  • Design, prepare and deliver HRBA training, including of gender specificities,  for a range of stakeholders. Support the capacity development of UNDP Country Office staff on human rights, HRBA, gender equality and creating a Society for All.
  • Promote the application of HRBA in development programming, across all Practices/Focus Areas of the Strategic Plan. Raise awareness about and promote the engagement of national stakeholders, including  civil society organizations, with international human rights mechanisms;
  • Support resource mobilization, partnership building and knowledge sharing, including contributing lessons learned from the region which can inform global knowledge management practice;
  • Contribute to gender, disability and human rights programming in the UNDP Office and among the UN system at country and regional levels and promote access to justice programing
  • Support international/regional NGOs and CSOs dealing with gender,  and human rights issues, including in the areas of economic, social and cultural rights and access to justice
  • Support the Governance Unit in preparing responses to queries from within and from outside of the UN system, the preparation of documentation and organization of meetings and workshops on the subject
  • Monitor and document financial delivery in the area of gender and human rights and access to justice and prepare inputs for the annual report, planning and budgeting, including the regional allocation from the UNDP Global Human Rights Strengthening Programme and Access to Justice program.
  • Collect, research and analyze information on human rights, access to justice and gender issues and identify matters for follow-up and possible action
  • Participate fully in knowledge management networks. Maintain regular contact with human rights advisers/specialists, access to justice and gender advisors and relevant programme personnel, including the UNDP Global Human Rights Strengthening Programme (GHRSP) and the access to justice management teams  


  • Comprehensive knowledge of, and exposure to, a range of human rights issues;
  • Sound knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to human rights, including  gender; ability to relate gender and disability issues to political, social and economic perspectives;
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Significant experience in designing and delivering training.
  • Excellent communication skills (spoken and written) , including the ability to convey complex concepts and recommendations at senior level, both orally and in writing, in a clear, concise style and to deliver presentations to external audiences;
  • Cultural  sensitivity,  discretion and sound judgment in applying expertise.
  • Ability to interact and to establish and maintain effective and harmonious working relations both as a team member with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Good organizational, coordination and interpersonal skills.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university (Masters Degree) in human rights, law, gender studies, international relations, political science or other disciplines related to human rights, and gender. 
  • A combination of relevant academic qualifications and work experience can be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree. 
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, including gender rights,  at international level.
  • Significant experience as trainer and educator on human rights/gender rights
  • Significant experience of UN/UNDP gender and Human Rights  policies;
  • Work experience on gender, disability and human rights in the Arab region is a strong asset
  • Proficiency in English. Knowledge of Arabic and/or French an asset
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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