Published on: October 29, 2013

iahpc_logoIAHPC seeks a part-time expert to join as a Palliative Care Advocacy Officer to be based in Geneva. This Advocacy Officer will lead and further develop IAHPC’s and its members’ engagement with UN’s human rights and health mechanisms to advance the legal recognition of palliative care and pain treatment as human rights.

The Advocacy Officer will work closely with IAHPC’s Executive Director and with members of the Board of Directors. The Advocacy Officer will report directly to the Executive Director, who will provide guidance and monitoring from IAHPC’s office through email, Skype, and regular visits. The Executive Director will be supported in this supervision by an advisory committee of experts, including representatives of regional palliative care associations and international human rights organizations.

During the first few months of the project, the Advocacy Officer will receive training in basic concepts of palliative care and service provision, learning about different models of care in low, middle, and high resource countries. In addition to visiting local palliative care projects in Switzerland, a week of residential training will be arranged in palliative care settings (TBD). The Advocacy Officer will also accompany a representative from Human Rights Watch in his field work documenting reports and conducting advocacy on palliative care as a human right.

Main Responsibilities

The Advocacy Officer will work with IAHPC and member organizations to coordinate human rights advocacy on palliative care and pain treatment. This will entail participating in UN meetings, visiting country missions, helping develop shadow reports, collaborating with country delegations, etc.

Following this orientation period, the Advocacy Officer’s work will initially focus on developing a strategy for engagement with human rights and health mechanisms and laying the groundwork for effective advocacy. This will include the following activities:

  • Analysis of existing standards to set benchmarks: This will entail examining treaties, resolutions, statements, jurisprudence, and treaty body interpretations to assess opportunities to address gaps in the international recognition of palliative care and access to pain treatment as a human right.
  • Identification of target mechanisms: This work will focus on identifying monitoring bodies that are particularly poised to recognize palliative care and build on previous advocacy with them. These will most likely include the World Health Assembly, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Council.
  • Engagement of target mechanisms: The Advocacy Officer will invest in building relationships with relevant members, secretariats, mission representatives, and stakeholders. A mapping of partners will also be developed and shared with IAHPC members to enhance their advocacy efforts.
  • Capacity building of IAHPC and its member organizations: This will entail working with IAHPC and its members to develop reports highlighting palliative care needs and government obligations, as well as supporting IAHPC members on effective follow-up advocacy with monitoring bodies and their national governments.
  • Development of core advocacy arguments: Primers with core advocacy arguments to use with the various mechanisms will be developed for national partners and the relevant mechanisms.



  • Postgraduate qualification in international law and/or human rights.


  • Sound understanding of the international conventions on human rights, the member states’ obligations and the mechanisms of enforcement.
  • Basic knowledge of global public health.
  • An understanding of current debates and directions in health and human rights and an ability to leverage these to drive outcome focused results for the palliative care population.


  • Advocacy, research, and policy experience in an international setting.
  • Human rights experience, preferably on health and human rights issues.
  • Experience working in coalitions or networks.
  • Work experience in a developing country is highly desirable.


  • Strong verbal communication skills.  Public speaking experience is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to write clearly and succinctly for a range of audiences, from formal submissions to short articles for social media or blogs.
  • Working fluency in a relevant second language is highly desirable (e.g. Arabic, French, Russian or Spanish).
  • Well organized and able to manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to respond flexibly to changing priorities and to set and work to deadlines.
  • Ability to manage a budget (track expenditure / basic use of Excel etc).
  • Excellent computer literacy (Word, Excel, PP or similar).


  • Self-motivated with a personal commitment to advocating for human rights and access to palliative care.
  • Ability to learn quickly about new issues or advocacy targets.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to show proof that they can legally work in the USA and in Switzerland. Compensation will be done in the USA.

Recruitment Process

Please apply by sending a CV (maximum length 3 pages) and cover letter (maximum 2 pages) to Your cover letter should show why you are interested in this position and how you meet the qualifications. We will only be able to contact shortlisted candidates.

Terms and Conditions

Between $30,000 and $35,000 per year depending on experience. Salary reviews and performance appraisals are done in January every year.

Work Hours
This post requires a working week of 25 hours (excluding breaks). These hours will be worked as agreed with the Executive Director but some flexibility may be required to meet the needs of the job. There is no paid overtime.

Holidays are 20 days per year plus bank holidays.

Length of term
Twelve months with likely renewal based on the project’s success.

Probationary Period and Notice Period
There is no probationary period for this role. The job may be terminated by IAHPC for any reason with a 30 day notice.

The post is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Overseas travel will be required.

One response to “IAHPC needs Advocacy officer based in Geneva.”

  1. Rotn JohnKurian says:

    As aMember of Rotary club of TVM suburban I feel proud that we were able top support your effort in serving Sick and the old needing apathy ans\d service.

    John kuurian