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Recruitment & Volunteering

Front Line Defenders seeks to recruit staff, interns and volunteers in an open and transparent manner. Front Line Defenders is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. We are committed to promoting cultural diversity within the Front Line Defenders staff. All positions are advertised via this website as well as through other media or networks appropriate to the position being advertised.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests we receive, it is not possible to keep general applications or CVs on file. During a recruitment process we do not generally review applications received until after the closing date. Shortlisting can take some time given the volume of applications we receive for some posts.



Front Line Defenders is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Research and Admin Fellowship: Europe and Central Asia
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Front Line Defenders invites applications for a Research & Admin Fellowship to support its work in Europe and Central Asia. The selected candidate will work in close coordination with the Protection Coordinators for the region, and will also provide support to other relevant staff across other programme areas in relation to our work in the region, as required. The fellowship will be for nine months (extendable for up to 1 year) and based in Front Line Defenders' office in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

The fellowship is designed to provide training and practical work experience in an international non-governmental organisation to recent graduates seeking a career in human rights. The fellow will learn about Human Rights Defenders; the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders; the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur; the role of Front Line Defenders and other national and international organisations in the support and protection of human rights defenders; the specific situation and challenges facing human rights defenders in the region and advocacy at the EU level. They will be expected to participate in induction, periodic reviews, weekly team and case meetings, and relevant out-of-hours events.

The successful candidate will be able to draft well and have good analytical skills. They will have some knowledge of the UN system, the EU system and international and human rights law. They must be able to work in both English and Russian. Ability to communicate in additional languages used in Europe and Central Asia, incl. Ukrainian, Kazakh, Armenian, Tajik, Azerbaijani, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Georgian and others, is a plus. Please note that we cannot make exceptions to the language requirement.

They will be able to work on own initiative and as a member of a team. They will have good oral and written communication skills and be computer literate. They will be flexible, have good interpersonal skills, good stress management skills and be cooperative. An ability to multitask and prioritize is a must. Previous work experience with organisations working in the field of human rights is desirable.

Basic terms of reference:

  • Provide support to the Protection Coordinators working on Europe and Central Asia, including casework and dealing with queries and correspondence with human rights defenders;
  • Input HRD-related information on the Front Line Defenders' database;
  • Undertake research on the situation of human rights defenders in countries in the region;
  • Compile and draft as requested briefings, country summaries, input to reports, urgent appeals, or other materials;
  • Provide support to staff across other programme areas in relation to activities carried out in the region, including in particular in the organisation of and follow-up on trainings;
  • Carry out administrative duties as requested, including the taking of minutes in meetings, as well as translating administrative documents from Russian/English and English/Russian;
  • Provide Russian language support as necessary, including simultaneous translation for human rights defenders;
  • Work on other specific projects and tasks relating to human rights defenders as requested.
  • Provide flexible support to the Rest and Respite programme, including, but not limited to, accompanying human rights defenders to events and translating.

Applications (CV and cover letter) should be submitted (see Apply Now button) by 30 December 2023. Interviews are expected to take place during January and will be held online. The next Research & Admin Fellowship - ECA will start in February 2023 for a period of nine months. 

Front Line Defenders is able to provide a contribution to living costs of €1651 per month. Front Line Defenders will reimburse the successful candidate the cost of their flights to and from Dublin. Please note that the cost of living in Dublin is high and that you may need additional funds to sustain your stay in Ireland. This is a Dublin-based role working from the FLD office for the full length of the fellowship. Front Line Defenders will assist with the Irish visa application process if relevant.

Front Line Defenders is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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.


Apply Now


Front Line Defenders annually recruits for two positions that are part of the organisation's commitment to strengthening international mechanisms supporting human rights defenders:

Internship at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (Banjul)

The purpose of the Internship is to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). It is a 12 month position based in Banjul. Candidates should be able to work in English and French. Front Line Defenders will prioritise candidates who have experience as a human rights defender in Africa.

Frank Jennings Fellowship (Dublin & Geneva)

The Frank Jennings Fellowship was set up to give an opportunity for dedicated and talented individuals to gain experience working for the protection of human rights defenders in an international NGO and at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is named after Front Line Defenders former Head of Research who died after a long illness in 2005. Frank made a huge contribution to the development of human rights activism in Ireland and candidates who have some experience of human rights work in Ireland will be given priority.

The Frank Jennings Fellow spends three months at Front Line Defenders where he/she will be trained in relation to Human Rights Defenders; the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders; the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur; the procedures and methodology of the mandate; the role of Front Line Defenders and other national and international organisations in the support and protection of Human Rights Defenders. The Fellow will then move to Geneva for a period six months before returning to Front Line Defenders for a further three months.

Invitation to tender for website redesign

Front Line Defenders is currently inviting tender submissions from interested Website Design and Development Suppliers to lead on a substantial redesign of its website. For more details and instructions on how to apply, please visit here.

Volunteering at Front Line Defenders

We greatly appreciate the valuable contribution of volunteers who support the work of Front Line Defenders.

The best way to get involved is to help Front Line Defenders raise awareness about the risks faced by human rights defenders around the world and to help raise much needed funds to increase their security and protection.

When human rights defenders visit Ireland on rest & respite, it is important to provide a network of support to them. This community of support includes volunteers interested in accompanying the human rights defender sightseeing, to music and cultural activities, sharing about Irish history and current affairs or other hobbies/activities that may be of interest. Language support is especially useful to visiting human rights defenders. The working languages of Front Line Defenders are English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian but sometimes we also need support with other languages.

If specific additional volunteering opportunities arise, they will be posted here.