We are hiring!

November 10, 2022


Programs and Communications Associate

100% Full-Time, based in Geneva


Organisation mission


The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) honors individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional commitment to promoting human rights, despite the risks involved. It strives to provide them with much needed protection, raising their public profile and gathering international support for their work. The Award is managed by the Martin Ennals Foundation (MEF), based in Geneva (Switzerland). In addition to celebrating the annual Award Ceremony, the Foundation provides ongoing support and visibility to former winners of the Award.


Organisational structure

Martin Ennals Foundation is a small organization run by a highly motivated staff, Board and Jury. At different points in the year, our work will be fast-paced, intense and challenging. The Director is the head of the executive arm of the MEF. The Communications Officer and Programme Officer work closely together. This position supports both communications and programmatic activities. Several interns complete the team.


  1. Key responsibilities of the role:

Martin Ennals Defenders Network: The new Martin Ennals Defenders Network is dedicated to supporting the work of defenders and fostering collaboration between the 50+ winners of the Award. A significant number of them experience security concerns and high levels of pressure in connection with their commitment with human rights. The Associate will assist the Director and Programme Officer to support this network by:


Monitoring news of MEA defenders and proactively connecting their situations to available resources, communications and advocacy opportunities.

Conduct a mapping of relevant UN processes, influential networks, and global initiatives against the issues defended by Martin Ennals Award winners.

Finalize and roll-out a new ‘Safeguarding policy’ to existing Martin Ennals Award Laureates, and to the 2023 cohort. Finalize and roll-out the new ‘engagement letter’ or contract between the Foundation and the Laureates 2023. • Oversee the peer-coaching programme for defenders, paying special attention to the individual needs of the Spanish speaking participants and ensuring a smooth collaboration between them and the team of professional coaches.

Communicate constantly with MEA defenders and care specifically for the inclusion and wellbeing of the Latin-American defenders, ensuring that cultural and linguistic specificities are fully taken into consideration in the Foundation activities.


Identify potential capacity-building opportunities to be delivered in 2023 and beyond for the MEA defenders


Take responsibility for a regional gathering of MEA defenders in Central America, including conceptualisation, logistics and coordination with on-site partners in Fall 2023. Contribute to the drafting of reports to the Special Procedures of the OHCHR, the UN Treaty Bodies or the Human Rights Council whenever one or several of the MEA’s Laureates request the support of the Foundation to advance a thematic or a country-related issue.


Produce communications material about MEA defenders.


2. Geneva Residency 2023:

The Associate will assist the Director and Programme Officer to deliver on meetings and advocacy events from March through August for the 2023 Laureates.

Advance training or personal care opportunities for the 2023 winners.

Prepare and accompany the Laureates in their presentations, events, conferences, and other activities in Geneva, ensuring Spanish interpretation whenever needed.

Support the Programme Officer to design and deliver at least 2 advocacy opportunities for each Laureate with relevant organizations at the UN, in Geneva and Bern, or worldwide.

Assist in the follow-up to opportunities for the Laureates with partners, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the University of Geneva, the Berlin Human Rights Film Festival, the FIFDH, the Club Diplomatique de Geneve, amongst others.


3. Fundraising:

Assist the Director in the development of fundraising materials as required.

Support the new fundraising committee of the Board with the identification of 3 new fundraising targets based in Switzerland, or abroad.


4. Communications:

The Associate will act as right-hand to the communication function of the Foundation, namely by pursuing the following tasks:

Corporate communications: assist in the production of corporate material, including newsletters and articles for the MEA audience

Digital communication: update the MEF’s website, conduct community management-related activities on social media with the aim of increasing audience engagement and reach of MEF

Graphics and design: Create original visuals for social media platforms

Figures & stats: improve how the Foundation tracks its communication performance by gathering relevant statistics platforms for the web, the media and social media


What we’re looking for:

3-5 years of relevant work experience in a project management and communication function;

Strong background in digital communications (professional knowledge with WordPress, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Canva, Tweetdeck and Google analytics are essential);

Familiarity with the issue area ‘human rights defenders’, with security, capacity-building and personal resilience issues common to the field of human rights activism;

Fluency or professional proficiency in both English, Spanish and French;

A degree or work experience in journalism, communications, political science, international relations, law, or relevant subject;

Ability to work across organizations and collaborate easily with colleagues;

Ability to multi-task and coordinate the delivery of tasks by other colleagues and service providers;

Ability to cope with pressure and challenging work periods. Self-starters, entrepreneurs, determined and creative types are welcome to apply


Conditions of the position:

Indefinite term contract at 100%

A competitive salary

Flexible working arrangements

25 days’ vacation pro-rata

Preferred start date: March 2023 To apply, please send your CV, a cover letter, and an example of your work to info@martinennalsaward.org by end of day, 11 December 2022.