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Human Rights Officer Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DRC

Congo DRC

  • Organization: WCS - Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Location: Congo DRC
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Rights
    • Natural Resource Management
  • Closing Date:

Location: Tshivanga, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), DR Congo

Reports to: KBNP Park Director

Coordinates with:Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator, Law Enforcement Department, GRM unit, Legal Department, Community Conservation Department and other staff as needed

Direct & Indirect reports:Human Rights Assistant

Start date: Immediate

Duration:2 years (renewable)

 

Purpose:

Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) is a site of exceptional conservation importance. In recent years there has been an escalation in social conflict between the park and the indigenous Batwa communities, which has its roots in the creation and expansion of the park in the 1970’s. 

In April 2022 WCS signed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Agreement with ICCN for an initial period of 10 years, delegating management responsibility for KBNP to WCS. Under the PPP and WCS’s vision for the park of a rights-based conservation model that will provide benefits to indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs) as well as to biodiversity, WCS is developing a comprehensive social safeguards program and community conservation framework.

The Human Rights Specialist, together with a counterpart from ICCN, will form an independent Human Rights Unit in KBNP reporting to the park Director. The Human Rights Specialist will be based full-time in KBNP, with travel to communities and urban areas in and around KBNP.

Major Responsibilities

  • Integrate the protection and promotion of human rights in KBNP activities, in compliance with international human rights standards, and relevant WCS and ICCN guidelines and policies  
  • Support regular institutional capacity building in human rights for all staff, including conducting regular human rights training for law enforcement staff
  • Monitor human rights and respond to human rights concerns within the Park, in accordance with Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) protocols and in collaboration with GRM staff
  • Collaborate with external partners in response to allegations of serious human rights violations, as defined by the GRM protocol
  • Ensure those suffering harm and claiming human rights violations are provided with assistance as needed, including referrals to the KBNP’s on-site doctor and psychologist and to additional specialists as required
  • Support the implementation of WCS’s human rights framework by KBNP staff and lead and monitor its implementation within the Park
  • Build capacity of the KBNP human rights unit  in mainstreaming human rights in protected areas management
  • Provide regular status updates to park management on human rights issues and responses
  • Coordinate vetting of law enforcement personnel as needed and in accordance with relevant protocols

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate degree in law, human rights or similar
  • Extended knowledge of international, regional, and national human rights instruments and mechanisms
  • At least 5 years of experience in human rights monitoring, investigations, mainstreaming human rights, or social safeguarding strategies in the conservation or development sector
  • Demonstrated experience or knowledge of legal processes supporting victims of GBV in DRC, highly desirable
  • Full proficiency in Swahili and French required, English an advantage 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and in conflict-sensitive environments
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Cultural, gender, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Experience in protected areas is a distinct advantage
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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