The Human Dignity Trust
Overview of Services
The Human Dignity Trust is looking to appoint a consultant to deliver key aspects of the Trust’s legislative reform and litigation programmes in Southern Africa.
- Location: Southern Africa
- Languages Required: English
- Starting Date: 17 November 2022
- End Date/Duration of Assignment: February 2023
- Fees: circa £8,000
- Application Deadline: 12 October 2022
The Human Dignity Trust
The Human Dignity Trust (the Trust) is a legal charity based in London, UK that supports local lawyers and human rights defenders to uphold human rights and constitutional law in countries where private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is criminalised.
At present, 69 jurisdictions worldwide maintain these criminal laws. Legal provisions that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people put them beyond the protection of the law, fostering a climate of fear, stigma and violence. These provisions also violate constitutional and international human rights law, including a person’s right to dignity, equality, non-discrimination, privacy and freedom of expression.
The Trust provides pro bono technical legal and communications assistance at the request of, and in collaboration with, human rights defenders, local lawyers and other partners who wish to use the courts to challenge the laws that criminalise same-sex intimacy or related repressive governmental actions that are justified on the basis of the criminal law. We also provide technical legal and communications assistance to governments and civil society groups working to reform discriminatory sexual offence laws and enact legislation that protects LGBT people, women, persons living with disabilities and other marginalised groups. Since our inception in 2011, we have worked with partners in over 20 countries in all regions of the world.
Laws criminalising LGBT people are often part of a wider set of out-dated sexual offence laws that discriminate against and do not adequately protect women, children, LGBT people and other vulnerable groups, such as laws relating to rape, sexual assault and ages of consent. Many of these are rooted in colonial-era laws that have long since been reformed in the UK. Building on pan-Commonwealth legal analyses that the Trust has been spearheading since 2014, the Trust is delivering a programme of technical assistance to Commonwealth governments seeking to deliver human rights compliant legislative reform.
Our legal technical assistance is carried out by our expert staff team in collaboration with a panel of leading international law firms and barristers who assist us pro bono, and in the case of our legislative reform work also with our Commonwealth Group of Experts comprised of legislative drafters, lawyers, academics and other subject-matter experts.
Background and Purpose
The Trust is currently engaged in both legislative reform and litigation work in the Southern African region. Our focus is on exploring and advancing opportunities for legal change to decriminalise LGBT people and to effect wider change to sexual offences laws and certain forms of protective legislation such as hate crime and equal opportunity laws. In the coming year the Trust will deliver two in-person civil society convenings in the region, one with a focus on protective hate crimes legislation and the other on the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity between women. At the same time, we are anticipating significant developments in our existing legislative reform work in the region that will benefit from a proactive locally-informed response.
- Contribute to the design and delivery of programmatic activities and, in particular, to the planning and delivery of the Trust’s planned convenings in the Southern African region in the first half of 2023
- Conduct background socio-political research in target countries
- Assist the Trust to build and solidify new and existing civil society relationships in target countries
- Assist the Trust to build and solidify new and existing relationships with relevant legal experts in target countries
- Input to the delivery of the Trust’s regional legislative reform strategies in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders
- Oversee the delivery of programmatic activities, in close collaboration with other HDT team members
Payments shall be effected upon receipt of invoices and according to the following payment intervals:
Payment Interval Amount
Monthly 33.3% of fees
- Degree or equivalent professional experience in law and/or human rights
- Expertise in strategic human rights litigation and/or legislative reform with a focus on human rights
- Experience working in or on several jurisdictions within the region
- Strong written and oral communication skills in English, with a keen attention to detail
- Ability to understand and adapt to differing and often sensitive social and cultural contexts, whilst employing compassion, tact and discretion
- Ability to work well and collaboratively as part of a small, tight team, and with minimal supervision
- High level of computer literacy and familiarity with all Microsoft Office packages
- Excellent organisational skills, including ability to prioritise tasks and manage deadlines
- Ability and willingness to undertake regional and international travel, sometimes at short notice
- Knowledge of and commitment to the human rights of LGBT people
- Experience of project management
- An understanding of the LGBT human rights movement or intersectional human rights movements within the region and globally
The Consultant shall report to the Trust’s designated Senior Lawyer who will closely and regularly monitor progress made on the Services. During the reporting process, the Consultant also will seek written approval from the designated Senior Lawyer should any need to depart from the agreed outline arise or for any other issue entailing a change of the conditions detailed in these Terms of Reference.
Code of Conduct and Confidentiality
The Consultant is under an obligation to confirm that they have no conflicts of interest and to report all potential conflicts of interest prior to the signing of a contract in relation to the Services detailed under this Terms of Reference, including all personal or professional relationships that may compromise their independence or objectivity.
The Consultant shall act in a respectful and professional manner and shall not disclose information or make statements that could harm the Trust, its staff or Board or its partner organisations. The Consultant shall not disclose any confidential or classified information connected to this research assignment to any third party, either during or after the consultancy. The obligation of confidentiality includes information on personnel matters obtained during this contract period. The Consultant shall be subject to confidentiality and non-disclosure obligations as part of the Trust’s standard contracts and must comply with all relevant data protection laws and regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation.
How to apply
To apply please send a CV of no more than three pages along with a cover letter of no more than two pages, explaining why you are an ideal candidate for this role to: [email protected] Deadline to apply is 12 October.
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*Closing date: 12-Oct-22