Back to top

Protection Coordinator (Middle East and North Africa)

Front Line Defenders is seeking an exceptional candidate with significant human rights experience to take on this challenging post based in the region. The Protection Coordinator (MENA) will be responsible for maintaining and developing Front Line Defenders' contacts with human rights defenders in countries 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 in the region. The successful candidate will become the second Protection Coordinator in the region, in accordance with the overall FLD strategy to increase capacity.

The successful candidate will have at least five years experience of human rights related work in the MENA region and excellent written and oral communication skills in Arabic and English. Please note that we cannot make exceptions to the language requirement. Command of an additional language spoken in the region would be an asset. The successful candidate will have demonstrated sound political judgement, a good cross-regional perspective, and the 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. They will have worked with a wide range of defenders, and have a strong understanding of the gendered risks facing women human rights defenders and LGBTI defenders. They will have proven experience of developing gender responsive protection strategies.

The location of the post in the region will be finalised with the successful candidate. The salary for the post is €38,083 annually and progressing forwards in yearly increments. The post holder is responsible for complying with relevant tax and other legal requirements in their country of residence.

Applications (CV, cover letter and any published research, blogs and articles) should be addressed to Meerim Ilyas, Deputy Head of Protection at

The closing date for applications is 22 June 2020. Please indicate the full title of the position in the subject line of the email, or the application may be missed.

Key Tasks:

  • Identify human rights defenders at risk, and establish and sustain secure communications with them;
  • Provide rapid response to cases of human rights defenders at risk, including but not limited to the urgent appeal system;
  • Provide expert input to Front Line Defenders' advocacy, media work, training activities and small grants program;
  • Support the Deputy Head of Protection on activities and strategies to ensure outreach to women human rights defenders and overall gendered analysis of their experiences;
  • Advise on overall strategic direction in the region as relevant to human rights defenders and their movements;
  • Undertake research on the threats and attacks that human rights defenders face, obtain information, verify it and provide input for reports and other related materials which can be used to generate action on their behalf, whilst ensuring the independence, accuracy and credibility of the information Front Line Defenders publishes on the region;
  • Provide analysis and briefing papers on the threats faced by human rights defenders in specific countries;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Undertake other projects as delegated by the Director, Deputy Director or Head of Protection.

The Protection Coordinator (MENA) works as necessary in Arabic and English, and must be willing to travel on a regular basis as part of their role.

Front Line Defenders is an Equal Opportunities Employer. We are committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone is able to bring their full potential. We strive to create a welcoming space where everyone, no matter their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, or disability, is valued and respected.

In providing protection and support to human rights defenders, Front Line Defenders and its staff are committed to:

  • focus on the primacy and centrality of defenders;
  • demonstrate profound respect and empathy for defenders;
  • meet the needs expressed by the defenders in a fast, flexible and relentless manner;
  • achieve tangible impact;
  • act with independence, impartiality and integrity;
  • perform with dedication, professionalism and accountability;
  • show transparency and openness;
  • develop participative and cooperative relations.