Campaigner and Researcher

Employer Safeguard Defenders (SD)
Deadline 31. December 2021
Type Full time
Location Multiple
Level Mid-career (3-7 years experience required)



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 – in particular in China. 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.

SD 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 in Madrid, Spain, 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 Campaigner and Researcher, carrying out SD’s advocacy work together with the Campaign Director, specifically towards UN institutions and the EU, and carrying out research together with the Research Director, as well as possibly working with small project support with the Director.

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. EU-based applicants preferred.

The Campaigner and Researcher will mainly coordinate its work with three other positions, the Research Director, the Campaign Director, and the organization’s Director, as part of the central management team of 7-8 people, located in East Asia and Europe. Two assistants/researchers will assist in data collection based on your needs. The position reports to the Campaign Director.


This position will be extensively tailored to the selected applicant, to utilize that person’s background and expertise.

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

  • Work with the Campaign Director to develop, launch and lead targeted advocacy campaignsfor example, on EU member states that have not yet suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong, or on countries that are considering ratifying judicial cooperation agreements with China.
  • Assist in communication with UN organs, and be responsible for re-drafting research reports as submissions to relevant UN and related organs, as well as engage party political, governmental, and non-government briefings and reviews.
  • Work with the Research Director to draft, research, edit and produce research reports on relevant topics, and assist others in doing the same.
  • Develop dissemination plans for new reports, i.e., develop media strategies and lead media advocacy.
  • Work, independently, to carry out ‘investigations‘ for publication (essentially small reports).
  • Assist with direct case interventions concerning extradition requests, supporting key asylum cases, and similar work.
  • Assist in developing and maintaining communications with the media, government officials, diplomats etc.
  • Depending on qualifications, assist with administrative tasks related to supporting local CSOs and grant-making.



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, or undertake research, based on the needs and opportunities you identify and assist with 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 advocacy work will be considered. Candidates must have a proven track record of successful engagement with UN bodies and their mechanisms, 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 and international relations. You must be comfortable with public speaking, whether for in-person briefings in front of large groups and doing interviews.


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 a strong advantage
  • Media training
  • 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).


Starting salary around 50,000 USD, with future flexibility depending on work duties and performance. The exact title is to be decided based on the selected applicant.


To be based in East Asia or Europe. Unless based in same city as other core staff you will be working remotely and independently.


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.

Applications can be received until Dec 31, but applications will be reviewed on first-come basis, with aim of earlier starting date.

Apply now