Advocacy Trainee

Job Experience

Job Location

Expiration Date

18 Apr 2021

About the role

The Advocacy Trainee is responsible for assisting with our programme in Brussels. The Brussels office constitutes a bridge between the regional offices and the various EU institutions and this role is ideal for anyone wishing to develop their knowledge about balancing and presenting the human rights interests of civil society with the official EU agenda. Your primary responsibility will be to assist the Europe team (focusing mostly on the Western Balkans and Turkey) with the implementation of their advocacy strategy before the European institutions. 

You will be based in Brussels and report directly to the Brussels Programme Officer, but your work is not limited to a particular country of focus. For example, cooperation with some of Civil Rights Defenders other programmes (Latin America, Asia, MENA, Africa and Eurasia) is also foreseeable.

Your key activities will be:

  • Following and analysing the human rights situation in Europe, including in particular the Western Balkans and Turkey
  • Assisting with organising and participating in advocacy visits (in-person if possible or else remote) for partners from the regions we work on (Western Balkans, Turkey, Eurasia, South-East Asia, Latin America, Africa) to Brussels, in cooperation with the respective POs
  • Participating in Civil Rights Defenders general advocacy before relevant EU bodies
  • Monitoring of the EU’s activities concerning our target countries
  • Drafting programme-related documents, to be used for advocacy and awareness-raising purposes
  • Possibly assisting with the drafting of fundraising applications
  • Building upon and managing a pre-existing network of EU contacts, including MEPs, European Commission officials, and staff of the European External Action Service
  • There is also the possibility of coordinating a part of the work and occasionally providing support to the Europe Team’s interns

About you

As a person, you like to take your own initiatives, start activities and achieve results. You are outgoing and socially active in professional contexts and can create and maintain relationships.

To thrive in this role, you are able to plan, organize and prioritize your work in an efficient way to keep agreed time frames. You are analytical and breaks down problems into their components to solve complicated problems.

You have strong verbal and written communication skills in English, meaning that you use language flexibly for professional purposes and that you can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects. If you also have well-founded and clear values and the ability to think conceptually about issues in an ethical perspective, we definitely think that you are the one we are looking for.

We assume that you share our values.

To be suitable for this role you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Law, Political Science, International Relations or similar, including education on international and European human rights mechanisms
  • A good understanding of the functioning of relevant European institutions (Parliament, Council, Commission and EEAS) and of their potential impact on human rights, especially in non-EU countries
  • Availability to travel in Europe if needed


  • Some previous internship/work experience, preferably in the non-profit sector or with the EU, UN or other international organisations 
  • A basic understanding of the political context in the Western Balkans and/or in Turkey
  • Fluency in a Balkan language, Turkish or French 

About the employment

The Advocacy Trainee will be initially employed full-time for a period of up to six months (to be discussed) through a Belgian Contrat d’Immersion Professionnelle (CIP), starting in May 2021. An extension of the contract is possible depending on funding and on the Trainee’s performance. The applicant needs to already have the right to legally work in Belgium. At this stage, the work is expected to be mostly remote, but the person is expected to be able to move to Brussels if the situation improves.

Please apply by 18 April 2021 at 23:59 Brussels time at the latest. Online interviews will be conducted.

About us

Civil Rights Defenders is a politically and religiously independent international human rights organisation. We defend people’s civil and political rights in some of the world’s most repressive regions. We partner with and support human rights defenders in more than 200 organisations in 30 countries on four continents. Together with our partners, we hold those in power accountable when people’s civil or political rights are violated. We also act as Sweden’s civil rights watchdog.  

Civil Rights Defenders has around 70 staff members working in various functions towards our vision - a world of democratic societies in which we all enjoy our civil and political rights. Our headquarter is located in Stockholm, and we have eight branch-offices around the world. Learn more about our work at


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