Principal Specialist in Human Rights – P05

Grade: P05
Type of Appointment: Series A - Short Term
Duration of Contract: 12 months
Secretary/Department/Off.: IACHR - Executive Secretariat - Precautionary Measures Section
Announcement Number: EO/62/21
Duty Station: US - Washington D.C.
Job Family: Human Rights Commission
Job Category: Professionals and Higher Categories
Recruitment Type: External
Employment Schedule: Full time
Publication Date: 9/3/21
Closing Date: 10/3/21
# of Openings: 1

  Annual Basic Salary (net of taxes):

Basic Salary: 89,837.00

 Annual Post Adjustment (net of taxes):

Post Adjustment: 44,559.00



This position is responsible for the Assistant Executive Secretariat for the Cases and Petitions System

*   As assigned, provides advice and assistance to the I-A Commission on Human Rights and its members, special delegations, and Executive Secretariat, Committees of the General Assembly, the Permanent Council, and other political and deliberative organs of the Organization of American States (OAS) on particularly complex and/or sensitive areas in relation to the full range of human rights law to resolve procedural and substantive legal questions by preparing, reviewing and revising written legal opinions and memoranda or by giving oral opinions by telephone and at meetings.

*   As assigned, drafts and/or reviews legal instruments, such as treaty texts, contracts, agreements, internal regulations and rules and other legislative materials by: a) analyzing the needs and requirements for new I-A instruments; developing presentations for the Commission to present to the General Assembly and following through with the process until approval b) designing and organizing consultations on human rights issues through questionnaires, special technical studies, and meetings among governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations' leaders and experts to discuss and obtain support on the future instruments and c) drafting, revising and advising on various versions and the final drafts of the future instrument.

*   For individual cases: analyzes admissibility, processes and investigates petitions; drafts reports on the merits of the case and with the rapporteur, negotiates possible friendly settlements with interested governments;

*   Plans and organizes on-site visits and as legal advisor to member rapporteurs, special country visits which may involve advance work with high level authorities, analysis of specific aspects of the relationship between the Government and the Commission and negotiation of cases.

*   As assigned, serves as legal advisor of the Commission in negotiations with governmental, agency and non-governmental organizations and members to reach friendly settlements on individual or collective cases which can involve reparations, new legislation to be enacted or institutions to be established.

*   Prepare recommendations and reports the negotiation of opinions and strategies with governmental and NGO authorities.

*   When assigned, represents the Commission in negotiations with other international or national agencies on their participation on joint cooperative projects. Prepares or redrafts Commission agreements, memoranda of understanding on cooperative initiatives or common projects with other organizations agencies.

*   As the Commission’s delegate or advisor, when assigned, conducts litigation before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights delegate on complex, contentious cases involving multiple legal issues. Prepares requests for the issuance of provisional measures of protection by the Inter-American Court in cases of irreparable damage and serious threat to human rights. Prepares drafts of precautionary measures of adoption by the Commission.

*   Reviews and comments on case reports, special country reports, amendments to or new basic legal instruments of the human rights system prepared by others.

*   Drafts major statements, speeches, thematic reports and reports on investigation for presentation to the Secretary General and the political bodies. Drafts press communiques to be issues by the Commission concerning its activities and decisions.

*   When assigned, represents the Commission before the governing bodies of the GS/OAS and at conferences with other international organizations on specific initiatives with human rights aspects to promote coordinated actions and positions.



Essential: Juris Doctor or First University Degree (Bachelor) in Law or a related field issued by a duly accredited institution and 15 years of relevant experience in similar position(s) at national and international levels OR Advanced University Degree (Master) in Law or Social Sciences issued by a duly accredited institution and 10 years of relevant experience OR Doctorate and 6 years of relevant experience. Significant managerial experience, including management of large teams is required.

Desirable:  Experience or knowledge of the OAS mandates and priorities as related to the area of work and/or the dynamics of the Inter-American agenda and system.


Essential: Ability to effectively work using Microsoft Office (e.g., Outlook, Word, and Excel), and other software applicable to the area of work.

Essential – Proficient in at least two of the following languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish (read, write and communicate); Language proficiency examination will be required.
Desirable – Working knowledge of the other two official languages.

PERSONAL COMPETENCIES:  Client Orientation, Knowledge Sharing, Teamwork, Interpersonal Skills, Managing and Coaching Staff, Strategic Planning, Encouraging Innovation, and Decision Making/Judgment. Ability to clearly communicate in the languages required for the post.

The GS/OAS embraces equality, diversity and inclusion. Thus, the GS/OAS, in accordance with its rules and regulations, is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, achieving a diverse staff, and will take into account a wide geographic representation, as well as gender equity and equality, in the selection of candidates.

Please note that the mandatory retirement age for staff members at the General Secretariat of the OAS is 65.