Call for applications to become “Rights Experts” from Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent in Africa

January 24th, 2023

We are looking for Rights Experts from Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) to work closely with the African Network on Discrimination based on Work, Descent and Contemporary Slavery (ANDS), TrustAfrica, Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFoD), all its partners and allies.

We particularly encourage women to apply for this position to achieve equal representation of the Rights Experts team.

Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) are oppressed through occupational/caste like discrimination, often forced into conditions of traditional and or modern slavery/bonded labour. Examples of CDWD in Africa include the Haratins in Mauritania, the jongo slave caste, Osu in Nigeria, the Faraboo, Numoo, Laube communities and countless others who are perceived to belong to a different social status, often forced to pray, eat, sleep and learn in physically segregated from the “higher casts” or “nobels”.

Selected Rights Experts will work closely with other Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD), including Dalits and Burakumin from Asia, Roma from Europe, Quilombola and Palenque from Latin America, and countless others who experience discrimination based on their ancestral occupation. Indeed, this specific type of discrimination described by the UN as “Discrimination based on Work and Descent” (DWD) is common practice in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, yet it is also one of the least understood forms of discrimination in the world.


Global Forum on Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFoD) is the global advocacy mechanism of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD). More than 270 million people across the world are discriminated against on the basis of work and descent and are more commonly known as Dalits, Roma, Quilombola, Burakumin, Osu, amongst many other names. Discrimination on Work and Decent (DWD) is a global phenomenon which lacks public recognition and acknowledgement and affected communities are among the most marginalised and excluded people.

Position Overview

GFoD started the CDWD Rights Experts program in 2021 and is currently seeking applications for the next cohort of Rights Experts from Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent to support global advocacy and data collection processes at the national, regional and global level. Candidates will be recruited on the basis of requirements and qualifications listed below.

The position requires a high level of autonomy and responsiveness to engage in advocacy processes and a high interest and willingness to engage in national, regional and global advocacy processes. At its core, the program elevates the national level advocacy of one particular community towards collective advocacy engagement for all Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) on the global level such as the United Nations (UN) and other regional and global human rights mechanisms.

The position requires approximately 40 hours per month for a duration of 10-12 months with a 3-month trial period with potential international travel.

Duties and responsibilities of the Rights Experts (REs)

·       Dedicate at least 5 full working days per month to this role.

·       Participate and organise capacity building, mutual learning and general advocacy activities.

·       Contribute to the development and implementation of the GFoD regional and global advocacy strategies.

·       Author statements, critical interventions and articles or contribute to specific ideas and concept notes on the concerns of CDWD as per the requirement of HLPF and other UN and human rights instruments, mechanisms or initiatives.  

·       Communicate regularly with the GFoD Secretariat and undertake national, regional and take part in global consultation processes within the local, regional and national CDWD community.

Requirements and qualifications

In order of preference, characteristics and qualifications are listed below.

Please note that given our preference for candidates from respective communities, applicants are not required to have English as a working language.

  1. Anchored and rooted in Communities Discriminated by Work and Descent (CDWD): Persons from Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) are highly encouraged to apply to this position. Women, youth and other underrepresented and marginalised groups from CDWD are highly desired for this position.
  2. Experience: Social leaders within their own community with considerable experience in advocacy actions and processes at national, regional and international level. It is highly desirable that candidates are established human rights defenders in their country/region/community and are experts in one particular field area related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, (Access to water and sanitation – SDG 6, decent work – SDG 8, Inequalities – SDG10 etc.). Please mention in your application which SDGs you are most interested in/have worked on.

  3. Commitment: Candidates who have shown ongoing commitment and leadership to the cause of CDWD are encouraged to apply.

  4. Academic qualifications: Academic qualifications such as University qualifications, publication of books, articles or other journalistic work will be considered in the application process.

Recruitment and timeline

Please submit your applications to until 10.03.2024. Please submit your CV together with a one page over letter referencing relevant experience mentioned above under “Requirements and Qualifications”. English as a working language is preferred but French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic are also accepted. Please mention all your working languages in your application. The program is dependent and conditional on support from donors which yet have to be released for this program. In case the donor withdraws funding, the program may not continue.

Successful candidates will be appointed for a 10-12 month period with an initial 3 month trial period.

Due to the high volume expected applications only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. When you submit your application you will receive an automated message that your application has been received.

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