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Vacancy for Advocacy and Campaign manager

Update: The position has been filled as of 15 February.



Safeguard Defenders (SD) is a decentralized pan-Asian human rights organization that undertakes and supports local field activities that contribute to the protection of fundamental human rights, promotes the rule of law, and enhances the ability of local civil society and human rights defenders in some of the most closed political environments in Asia. It also undertakes field research and releases cutting-edge reports and briefings, and utilizes such reporting as the basis for both long-term campaigning and short-term targeted campaigns.

Safeguard Defenders has core staff and partners spread across East and Southeast Asia and includes teachers, lawyers, independent media, and small-scale civil society organizations. It is a registered foundation with head offices in Madrid, with a small executive leadership. As a growing organization, the position offers a great degree of flexibility in contributing to Safeguard Defenders’ overall strategic and programmatic development.


We are seeking a full-time Advocacy and Campaign Manager. The position will focus on China, but will also oversee Safeguard Defenders main advocacy activities in other countries and have the opportunity to expand the regional or thematic advocacy activities undertaken by the organization.

The position is full-time and can be based remotely with the understanding that flexible working hours will be necessary for adjusting to the time zones of other colleagues in weekly coordination and work management meetings. The amount of travel will be dependant on the location of the selected candidate.

The Advocacy and Campaign Manager will mainly coordinate its work with two other positions, the Principal Researcher and the Program Officer for Urgent Actions, as part of the central management team of 6-7 people, located in East Asia and Europe. Two assistants/researchers will assist in data collection based on your needs. The position reports directly to the Director.


The work duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop, launch and lead targeted advocacy campaigns, for example, against EU member states that have not yet suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong, or against countries that are considering ratifying judicial cooperation agreements with China.
  • Work with the principal researcher to develop dissemination plans for new reports, i.e., develop media strategies and lead media-advocacy.
  • Be in charge of developing and maintaining communications with the media.
  • Work with the Program Officer for Urgent Actions to prepare and file urgent submissions to relevant UN organs for such urgent action beneficiaries, primarily concerning China and Vietnam.
  • Be the organization’s point person for all communication with UN organs, and be responsible for re-drafting research reports as submissions to relevant UN and related organs.
  • Seek participation in, draft relevant documents for, and represent the organization in, bi- and multilateral procedures, from the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, national parliaments or political parties’ reviews of China-related policy, congressional hearings, etc.



You must be an experienced advocate and able to thrive in a fast-paced ‘start-up’ environment.

What is essential is that you have the ability and experience in planning and executing self-designed actions. You will be expected to take the initiative in pursuing projects of interest, develop and launch campaigns based on the needs and opportunities you identify, and lead the organization’s advocacy work. Taking initiative and the ability to work independently are of utmost importance.

The pace of work is high, and the expected work outputs are equally high.

Only candidates with experience in campaigning/advocacy work will be considered. Candidates must have a proven track record of successful engagement with UN bodies and their mechanisms is required, as well as experience in developing media strategies. Fluency in spoken English and strong writing skills are a necessity.  

The candidate must have knowledge of international human rights standards, and ideally an understanding of Chinese domestic politics or international relations.


Proven experience and/or knowledge in the following is a bonus:

  • Proficiency in IT security
  • Experience in project management or administrative management
  • Prior experience working in China or Southeast Asia
  • Proficiency in Mandarin (simplified Chinese) will be an advantage
  • Prior experience organizing seminars, press conferences, or other events is a plus

This will be a highly public-facing role. Applicants should be aware that taking this position will mean you will no longer be able to travel (safely or at all) to China (including Hong Kong/Macau).


Interested candidates should send a one-page (maximum) cover letter explaining your interest, why you think you would be able to do this job, along with your CV, and contact information to two references. A writing sample or other application material may request at a later stage. The interview process may involve a skills-based written test of sorts in addition to panel interview(s).

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