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Protection Coordinator (Middle East and North Africa)

Role purpose: The Protection Coordinator (PC) is to lead timely and appropriate response to human rights defenders at risk in the Middle East and North Africa, ensuring holistic and effective protection and support are provided. The PC is responsible for maintaining and developing Front Line Defenders' contacts with human rights defenders in the region, providing rapid response to cases of human rights defenders at risk, undertaking research on the threats and attacks that they face, providing analysis and producing relevant materials to take action in their support, and inputting into all other programmes and activities specific to the countries assigned. Note – there is already one Protection Coordinator, this position is for the second PC. The PC reports to the Head of Protection, and accountable to the Protection Team and colleagues who work in the MENA region.

Team purpose: The Protection Team is responsible for Front Line Defenders’ outreach to human rights defenders at risk and the coordination of protection responses when they are in need of urgent support. The Protection Team drives the organisation’s strategic priorities on behalf of HRDs in each of the regions and is closely involved in directing rapid response and advocacy on their cases via close collaboration with the grants team, the EU office and others as necessary.

Key responsibilities:

Protection Programming

  • Connect with human rights defenders at risk, while applying intersectional lens, and establish and sustain secure communications with them;
  • Provide rapid response to cases of human rights defenders at risk, including but not limited to through the urgent appeal system;
  • Build the capacity of human rights defenders in the region to respond to and manage security risks;
  • Maintain and update the relevant information on human rights defenders and action taken on their behalf in Front Line Defenders' database and submit timely reports on missions and other activities;
  • Support grants team on applications, including support in verification of the grants, follow up, and ongoing collaboration with the MENA grants coordinator;
  • Liaising and coordinating with relevant human rights organisations for referral of cases and/or collaboration on protection work.

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide expert input to Front Line Defenders advocacy, visibility, capacity
  • building and protection grants programmes;
  • Support on activities and strategies to ensure outreach to women and non-binary human rights defenders and overall gendered analysis of their experiences as defenders;
  • Advise on overall strategic direction in the region as relevant to human rights defenders and their movements;
  • Advise on the design of collaborative and inclusive interventions in order to increase organisational support to defenders from a range of less visible and less connected groups.

Research and Advocacy

  • Undertake or collaborate on research on a range of protection related issues;
  • Provide analysis and briefing papers on the threats faced by human rights defenders in specific countries.

External Representation

  • Develop contacts and liaise with relevant regional and other organisations with regard to Front Line Defenders' work for the protection of human rights defenders in the region;
  • Represent Front Line Defenders to relevant authorities, international organizations, donors, embassies and the media as appropriate;

Internal Collaboration and Communications

  • Close daily collaboration and workload prioritization with the MENA team;
  • Leadership and coordination on overall annual planning of activities in the region;
  • Collaboration with the Visibility team for opportunities to bring visibility to MENA HRDs;
  • Regular communication with the Brussels office for specific advocacy beyond appeals.


Person Specification:

Knowledge and Skills


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English & Arabic; no exception.
  • Ability to deliver accurate and objective written information in a high pressure environment dictated by the need to respond urgently to threats against human rights defenders;
  • Knowledge of key human rights trends in the region and their impact on human rights defenders and their movements; ability to demonstrate a nuanced understanding of contexts in which local HRD communities operate;
  • Ability to work well with a wide range of people from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, with empathy and clear boundaries;
  • At least some knowledge of key practices and trends in the area of resiliency and well-being for both HRDs and their advocates;
  • At least basic knowledge of digital security tools and trends in areas related to freedom of expression, online threats and relevant policies.


  • Direct experience with holistic protection accompaniment, including digital, physical, risk assessment and well-being;
  • French language.



  • At least 5 years of experience working with a diverse range of human rights defenders;
  • Experience with a wide range of defenders, and a strong understanding of the gendered and other risks women human rights defenders and LGBTIQ+ defenders face;
  • Experience with drafting reports, conducting research and any other tasks where analytical writing skills are required;
  • Experience working with diverse teams, especially in emergency settings.


  • Experience of developing gender responsive, intersectional protection strategies;
  • Experience with managing collaborative projects inside organisations and with external partners.


The location of the post will be finalised with the successful candidate, however, please note that this person in this role is expected to be based in the MENA region.

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range for the post is €46,040 to €60,070 (depending on experience and qualifications) annually and progressing forward in yearly increments. The post holder is responsible for complying with relevant tax and other legal requirements in their country of residence.

Benefits include: 21 days of annual leave per year, contribution to a pension scheme and towards healthcare expenses, life insurance and income protection schemes, employee assistance programme inclusive of well-being support.

How to Apply:

Applications (CV, cover letter and any research, blogs or articles) should be sent in one PDF file and addressed to Olive Moore, Deputy Director at

Please indicate the FULL title of the position (i.e. Protection Coordinator, MENA) in the subject heading of the email. Please note that due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Applications will be reviewed until the vacancy is filled. Previous candidates do not need to reapply as all applications will be reviewed after the new closing date.

Front Line Defenders is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
This Job Description only serves as a guide for the position available and FLD reserves the right to make necessary changes.