Senior Legal Expert/Global Projects Coordinator

21 June 2021

1. Introduction

Diakonia works with local partners and other strategic actors in over 25 countries for the fulfilment of the rights of all people to live a life in dignity. Diakonia’s mission is to change unfair political, economic, social and cultural structures that generate poverty, inequality, oppression and violence. Diakonia is a Swedish faith-based organisation established in 1966.

As of 2017, Diakonia has created its International Humanitarian Law Centre which works on Israel/Palestine, Syria and Mali, as well as other selected humanitarian contexts.

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre engages in the global promotion for the respect of international humanitarian law (IHL). The Centre believes that through promoting respect of basic legal standards in the most challenging of circumstances it can contribute to generating an environment where people and their communities can eventually live side by side, in peace and with their basic rights fully respected.

2. Background

Global Policy Projects

During fall 2018 and spring 2019, the International Desk of the Centre, as part of its mandate to coordinate global projects, supported an initiative by Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights focusing on disability and armed conflict and the specific gaps in analysis and practice in ensuring that IHL is comprehensive in its protective coverage.

The research identified clear opportunities for much needed follow up, with the Diakonia IHL Centre well placed to operationalise and follow up on its implementation. In addition, the recently completed external evaluation of the Centre confirmed the importance of continuation and engagement in this and other global projects. To ensure comprehensive engagement, oversight and management of such global projects, the Centre has created a new role leading the global projects of the Centre, ahead of a potential full Global Desk set up into 2022.

This role will work alongside the IHL Program Manager and lead the project on Disability in Armed Conflict at the IHL Centre while at the same time provide support to the IHL Desks on how to incorporate a disability perspective within their work. This will also include trips and visits to the contexts when necessary, and COVID permitting, to support specific activities. In addition, they will also coordinate the development of the Global Desk, including coordination of strategic IHL support to contexts not covered by the existing Desks.

3. Objectives, Tasks and Deliverables of the Consultancy

Overall objective: Lead and coordinate the Centre’s Disability Project, coordinate with key strategic allies, namely in Geneva. In addition, provide legal expertise on how to include a disability perspective across the work of the Centre, and work with the Program Manager to explore the feasibility of a Global Desk.

Specific Tasks:

  • Lead the IHL Centre’s Project on Disability in Armed Conflict (specific deliverables set out in the project plan).
  • Provide legal advice, research support and technical guidance on how to include a disability perspective in IHL to all parts of the IHL Centre.
  • Provide legal advice and technical guidance in relation to the incorporation of a gender perspective across all parts of the Centre.
  • Lead the work and strategic development of a pilot Global Desk.

4. Experience and Qualifications


  • Degree in law (JD or LLM) with specialization and/or experience in international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law;
  • Expert on disability rights, with publications on protection relating to disability and armed conflict;
  • Demonstrated expertise and high level of credibility in the IHL community, demonstrated through publications and engagement in academic and policy discourse.
  • Outstanding level of English writing proficiency;
  • Ten years experience working in the field of human rights, humanitarian law, or international law;
  • Expert on gender and international humanitarian law

5. Costs and Fees

The expert will be provided with a consultant fee based on level of experience and qualifications. If the consultant travels for any work purpose, all costs will be covered by Diakonia in addition to the stated consultancy fee.

6. Time Frame

The assignment will run from 1 July 2021 until 31 August 2021, with expected 30-44 days of work (at 7.5 hours per day) (with possibility of extension).

Please submit your CV, a letter of interest, and quote to global-ihl@diakonia.se before 15 June 2021. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis.