Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
10 September 2010

Amnesty International Job: Sexual orientation and gender researcher

GSI/GSI/RASOGI
Researcher/Adviser – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Gender, Sexuality and Identity Unit
Gender, Sexuality and Identity Unit
At the forefront of the fight for human rights, we pioneer research into areas where there is little precedent in law and policy. Our Gender, Sexuality and Identity Unit gives us the skills and knowledge to support our advocacy work in this area. In this specialist role, you’ll help us fight for equality for those with multifaceted identities.About the role
As our specialist researcher in the area, you’ll carry out in-depth research both at your desk and in the field, gathering information as and when crises develop. That means leading the way on field research missions, representing Amnesty International to governments and media around the world, and interviewing victims of human rights abuses. Collating your research into thorough and comprehensive reports, you’ll use your findings to make strategic recommendations that will influence our actions on a global scale. You’ll also promote the quality and consistency of our work in this area by providing expert advice on the research and how it’s gathered, and by capitalising on your astute awareness of developments in gender, sexuality and identity.

About you
Through extensive experience researching human rights violations in the field, you’ll have developed specialist knowledge of human rights as they apply to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. You’ll also have the sound political understanding and highly developed analytical skills to plan strategy at all levels. Naturally, you’ll be a clear and convincing verbal and written communicator – able to present influential arguments and write high-quality reports and policy papers. But more than that, you’ll have the interpersonal skills and tact to interview witnesses and survivors of human rights violations in a sensitive manner, drawing out the information we need to help others like them.

JOB PURPOSE: As Amnesty International’s (AI’s) lead expert on one of the specific thematic areas within the Unit’s brief — gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, Indigenous rights, and human rights defenders — lead on the development and implementation of overarching research and advocacy strategies to deliver impact in relation to agreed priorities, conducting research, and utilising political judgment and analytical, communication and representational skills.  Provide authoritative advice to country and thematic specialists in the International Secretariat (IS), sections and structures.  Contribute to the development of AI’s policy positions and advocacy strategies on human rights and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and/or other aspects of identity, including a focus on how the defence of those rights is challenged.

DEPARTMENT PURPOSE:
The Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Unit is responsible for intersectional analysis that captures the complexity of multifaceted identities—the combination of gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, Indigenous status, and other identities that make up who we are—and identifies the ways that human rights abuses target these multifaceted identities. The Unit provides strategic vision and leadership, and ensures that AI has the research, legal and policy analysis and campaigning skills to challenge such abuses effectively, and to support advocacy for effective redress. The Unit promotes and supports human rights defenders who are confronting such abuses, and conducts research and develops policy positions and advocacy strategies on expanding international recognition and promotion of the notion of dissent as critical to the protection of other human rights.

AIIS PURPOSE: The International Secretariat, which operates from a number of sites around the world, gathers and communicates accurate and action-oriented human rights information globally. We campaign for meaningful human rights change; enable effective human rights activism and work to persuade governments and other actors to uphold universal human rights standards.  We provide strategic leadership, support and advice to the Amnesty International movement globally, fostering Amnesty International’s contribution, presence and public accountability throughout the world.

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Reporting to: Director of GSI Unit
Posts that this job manages: This post has no line management responsibility. However, the post holder may supervise temporary staff and team volunteers.
Other key relationships: Law and Policy Programme; Global Thematic Issues Programme; Regional Programmes; other teams in the International Secretariat, including the Dignity Campaign teams; sections and structures; other international, regional, and local nongovernmental organisations; and UN agencies.

USEFUL INFORMATION:
The Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Unit develops strategies focused on delivering positive and concrete change, and develops policy and provides advice in an area where there currently may be little precedent in human rights law and policy, coordinating and working with relevant IS staff and AI Networks to ensure the application of policies and standards in these areas, and providing advice and support to the research of regional teams and sections. The Unit will carry out specialised research and advocacy on gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, Indigenous rights, and human rights defenders.

Location: London or as agreed

Develop quality research and analysis on a specific thematic area within the Unit’s brief — gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, Indigenous rights, and human rights defenders — investigating and evaluating human rights related developments in order to provide timely, accurate, independent and impartial assessments and recommendations to the IS and the wider movement.

Organize and undertake field research missions, leading specifically on information-gathering, fact-finding, analysis and assessment of relevant human rights concerns, including in response to crisis situations; prepare, where necessary, security assessments, political and other briefings related to the mission for IS management, mission participants and internal or external stakeholders; and represent AI in the field, including to government officials, partner organizations and the media.

Provide expert advice on research and research methodology within the team’s thematic brief to AI research staff to ensure quality and consistency of work in this area.

Write or contribute to the drafting of timely and effective reports, briefings, position papers, correspondence, action materials, press releases, and other internal and external documents in order to implement AI’s strategies on gender, sexuality, and/or other aspects of identity.

Provide expert advice on issues relating to gender, sexuality, and/or other aspects of identity to AI staff, sections/structures, and other AI membership bodies in order to ensure accuracy and relevance, and the integration of these issues into relevant AI work.

Develop and coordinate the implementation of specific advocacy initiatives, contribute to campaigning strategies, and manage specific sub-projects within the framework of agreed strategies for the unit, the IS and the movement. This may include coordination of project teams and supervision of consultants.

Maintain a comprehensive overview of trends and developments on the specific thematic responsibility of the post, and relevant specialist subjects, as agreed with the Unit Director.

Contribute to the development and implementation of a training program, to assist staff and the membership to develop and maintain the skills and knowledge necessary to work toward the achievement of AI strategies on gender, sexuality, and/or other aspects of identity and discrimination.

Develop and maintain effective constituencies of public and confidential contacts and partners in and outside of the organization — such as rights activists, partner organizations, members of legal and other professions, UN agencies and governmental representatives — to optimize information gathering and verification and the development and implementation of effective strategies and plans.

Represent AI externally, including in governmental, inter-governmental and other public forums, reporting back to the IS and the movement; develop media and other professional contacts; and otherwise act as an AI expert spokesperson on these issues to raise public awareness of AI and its concerns.

Contribute to the development of movement-wide strategies and plans for research and advocacy, and provide input into internal discussions on the AI mission, policy, organizational and other issues in order to increase the effectiveness of AI’s work.

Perform all necessary administrative tasks to ensure effective self-servicing, participate in the recruitment and induction of new staff and consultants and perform other corporate tasks as appropriate.

Contribute to the overall flexibility of resource use and provide cover for other programme staff as agreed with management.

AI has a strong profile on the themes within the post-holders brief, based on the production of high-quality reports and other public documents, and on the expert advice and representation provided by the post-holder. This in turn contributes to the achievement of our human rights goals on identity issues.

The post holder produces reports and other documents that are carefully researched, compellingly written, aimed at achieving specific impact, and delivered on schedule.

The post holder provides expert advice and policy guidance that is timely, succinct, and accurate.

The post holder takes and creates strategic opportunities for policy development, research, lobbying, and public intervention.

Other AI staff and external actors, including the staff of other NGOs, turn to the post holder for his or her recognized expertise.

Extensive professional experience of undertaking research on human rights, including on the intersectional analysis of aspects of identity.

Specialist knowledge of the thematic area in your brief and an in-depth understanding of the nature of key human rights concerns, as well as the relevant political, social, legal, economic, cultural, ethnic, racial and gender issues;

Expert knowledge of the international human rights legal framework and relevant developments, gained through significant experience working within or on the sector.

Significant experience of undertaking high-quality field research, as demonstrated in a range of publications.

Demonstrated ability to analyse human rights issues, and to develop short and long-term strategies to achieve human rights impact and solid change.

Ability to think strategically and exercise sound political judgement in developing policy positions on issues of gender, sexuality, and/or other  aspects of identity and discrimination.

Excellent written English, and the ability to produce clear, persuasive, and concise research documents, policy positions and strategy papers.

Ability to represent AI to a variety of external stakeholders, to present ideas clearly, and advance compelling arguments in English (essential) and other relevant languages (highly desirable).

Significant experience of interviewing and dealing in an appropriate manner with witnesses and survivors of human rights violations, as well as with senior government officials, policy makers, and law enforcement officials.

Excellent political judgement, strong analytical skills and the ability to think and plan strategically.

Strong interpersonal skills including advocacy, negotiating and influencing skills.

Experience of working in a team, participating in the collective coordination of the work of the team by contributing to setting priorities, motivating self and others, and resolving team conflicts.

Salary: Full time salary of £38,975 per annum
Hours: 35 hours per week
Location: Central London
Contract duration: Permanent contract
Holidays: Full time staff receive 27 days per annum plus two Amnesty International grace day and statuatory and national public holidays.
Office hours: 09.30 – 17.30 or 10.00 – 18.00 by arrangement
Life insurance: Amnesty International provide a Death in Service benefit of 4 x gross salary.
Pension: After six consecutive months of service staff are automatically enrolled in the Amnesty International Superannuation Scheme. This is a defined contribution to which Amnesty International contributes 7.5% of gross salary and will match individual employee contributions up to an additional 3%.
Probation: A six month probation period will be included in the contract for this position.
Relocation: A generous relocation assistance package will be available for staff members (and their dependents) recruited from over 80km/50 miles from the International Secretariat office in which the post is based.
Work Permit: Should it be possible to obtain a UK work permit for this post? Possibly, depending upon certificate availability as assinged by the Border Agency to the organization and dependent upon individual eligibility under the Home Office’s points based system. Individuals should ascertain their eligibility to work in the UK in this post before applying for a London based job with Amnesty International by using the points based calculator at http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/pointscalculator. Please note that your application would be as a Tier 2 (Skilled worker) in the General category and Amnesty International would provide sponsorship as a Level-A sponsor if the candidate does meet the other requisite points.
Health and Safety: All staff are required to comply with Amnesty International’s policy and rules relating to Health and Safety and its security regulations at work.
Equality and diversity is at the core of our values and staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.
Public or other activity, affiliation to or support for any group or organization, personal association or other factor which may generate a real or perceived conflict of interest with Amnesty International’s principles (specifically independence and impartiality), or raise a security concern, or otherwise prevent the candidate from carrying out key functions of the specific post and would therefore disqualify the candidate from being appointed.
26-Sep-2010
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