Human Rights Lead – Ukraine

For over 30 years, and through our work in more than 100 countries, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has sought to strengthen legal institutions, support legal professionals, foster respect for human rights, and advance public understanding of the law and citizen rights. In collaboration with government agencies, the judiciary, lawyers, bar associations, legislatures, and civil society, we design programs that are responsive to local needs and that prioritize sustainable solutions to pressing rule of law challenges.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, please visit

Job Summary

ABA ROLI is looking to hire a local Ukrainian expert to serve as the Human Rights Lead for the new five-year “Healing & Accountability through Human Rights Activity” funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The purpose of this new activity is to help Ukrainians achieve justice and address social divisions resulting from Russia’s full-scale invasion. The activity will support processes aimed at accountability for war crimes, foster dialogue on difficult questions related to post-conflict recovery, and begin healing and reconciliation using human-rights-based approaches, including transitional justice tools. This is a full-time position based in Kyiv, Ukraine, reporting to the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP).

The Human Rights Lead will provide technical oversight to one of the program’s three objectives, specifically “Objective 2: Increase acceptance of and adherence to human rights values.” The Lead will be responsible for developing and implementing programming aimed at promoting a greater awareness of human rights among citizens, civil society organization and the Government of Ukraine. This three-tiered work will begin by supporting local human rights groups (with subgrants as needed), primarily in target oblasts, to conduct educational campaigns targeting local citizens on fundamental human rights in their communities. By fostering awareness of fundamental human rights, these campaigns will empower individuals and communities to advocate for their rights and participate more actively in democratic processes, even during war. Importantly, activities will support citizens to understand the connection between the universally accepted goal of European integration and the strengthening of human rights protections.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure adherence of Objective 2 program activities to USAID’s articulated program strategy.
  • Manage the design and implementation of relevant programmatic activities under Objective 2, in collaboration with USAID, project leadership, partner organizations and other key stakeholders. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Strengthening domestic human rights networks, such as an annual celebration of Human Rights Week, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, film screenings, art exhibits, and community events aimed at promoting human rights advocacy and mobilizing support for human rights causes.
    • Providing capacity building for CSO coalitions and individual NGOs on organizational strengthening, sustainability, and substantive human rights advocacy issues.
    • Providing technical input to Government of Ukraine laws and policies impacting human rights, including potential legislation on amnesty, lustration/vetting, collaboration, conflict-related sexual violence and related matters.
    • Delivering an overall needs assessment of Government of Ukraine (GoU) partners that will guide specific programmatic interventions, potential in-kind support, and targeted training, in order to increase compliance of GoU institutions with human rights obligations.
    • Providing assistance to the Ombudsman’s various initiatives to enhance its institutional role as a leading voice for human rights protection.
    • Coordinating and communicating on a regular basis with key governmental partners and stakeholders
    • Providing direct legal assistance to victims and witnesses in war crimes cases.
    • Providing technical support by way of international and local experts in the development and implementation of relevant state policies.
  • Directly supervise a Human Rights Program Assistant.
  • Coordinate closely with the DCOP and COP in the identification and development of small grant activities, and monitor and supervise implementation of the small grants’ activities implemented under Objective 2.
  • Coordinate closely with the Field Finance and Administration Manager (FFAM) to ensure that activity development and implementation comply with USAID and ABA ROLI financial, procurement, administration and other regulatory and environmental requirements.
  • Ensure that the program team is effectively using the Monitoring & Evaluation tools and processes for the program; design and implement tools to assess and report on the status and efficacy of Objective 2 initiatives.
  • Contribute to quarterly and annual programmatic reports on the activities implemented under Objective 2.
  • Perform other duties and activities as required by the COP and DCOP for successful implementation of the program.

Required qualifications:

  • Excellent oral and written English language communication skills required.
  • Minimum of five (5) to seven (7) years of professional experience in international technical assistance project implementation and management in international or national non-governmental organizations, preferably with USG-funded programs, or small grants programs.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of professional experience in governmental or non-governmental sectors in the areas of human rights protection and advocacy, political transition and legal reform, justice, democracy or good governance, or with transitional justice programming.
  • Relevant experience working with NGOs, grassroots organizations, and/or local communities.
  • Master’s degree (or higher), or undergraduate degree with minimum of five (5) years of demonstrated experience showing increased responsibility in the areas of law, human rights protection, political science, social sciences or other relevant fields.
  • Ability to work under difficult conditions while maintaining security awareness.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV to [email protected] by May 29, 2024. Please include the name of the position and country (Objective 2/Human Rights Lead – Ukraine) in the subject line.