Co-Director in Business and Human Rights

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The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Position description

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, nonprofit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. We initiate, develop and support legal interventions to hold state and non-state actors accountable for human rights abuses.

The Business and Human Rights program seeks to support individuals or groups affected by corporate harm with transnational legal interventions before national, regional or international courts. Our strategic legal interventions aim at advancing legal and policy debates on the obligations of businesses towards human rights and the meaningful enforcement of such rights for those affected.

Who we seek

We are looking for a Co-Director in the Business and Human Rights program. The Co-Director will work alongside the current Co-Director (who has held the position for 2.5 years) of the program.

Specifically, we are seeking someone with extensive experience in the development of strategic legal interventions for corporate accountability in transnational settings, who is able to provide empowering and inclusive leadership for a team of 10 colleagues. In collaboration with the existing Co-Director and under the overall leadership of the Legal Director and General Secretary of ECCHR, this person will shape and implement the strategy of the Business and Human Rights program within ECCHR’s overall strategic planning. The thematic bandwidth of the projects is wide-ranging. In line with our overall approach to critically use various types of legal avenues to advance corporate accountability, the program’s work encompasses themes such as the application of mandatory human rights due diligence laws in global value chains in upstream and downstream scenarios, climate justice, and (criminal) liability in contexts of state repression and conflict. An overview of the program’s past and current cases can be accessed here: and here:

The Business and Human Rights team mobilizes a thorough understanding of the regulatory frameworks for corporate accountability in Europe, as well the political and legal debates in the business and human rights field globally. Our approach toward strategic legal interventions for corporate accountability in transnational settings is grounded in the awareness of ECCHR’s positionality as a Europe-based human rights NGO, as well as in the overall objective to develop strategic legal interventions together with the individuals or communities affected by corporate harm. To pursue its work, ECCHR thus relies on and seeks to expand a global network of grassroots organizations, human rights organizations, and community-based organizations.

Our work is strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues at ECCHR. We expressly welcome applications from candidates of all cultures, backgrounds and experiences. We can provide support with visa applications and relocation, and are also committed to making adjustments to foster the employment of colleagues with disabilities.

The position is full-time and based in Berlin.


What we have to offer

You will engage in exciting and challenging work within an internationally active human rights organization with a global network and an appreciative working environment. In addition to the operational, management and strategic aspects of the work, you will have the opportunity to work on transnational litigation projects yourself. You will be integrated into the Business and Human Rights program, a dedicated and supportive team. As Co-Director, you will also be involved in regular exchanges with other program directors (International Crimes and Accountability, Border Justice, the Institute for Legal Intervention, as well as People and Culture, Fundraising and Accounting) on overall institutional, strategic and management questions across all programs.

What the job includes

In close collaboration with the Co-Director:

• Develop the Business and Human Rights team’s strategy in consultation with the Legal Director and General Secretary, while ensuring that projects are consistent with ECCHR’s approach toward strategic legal interventions and maintaining a high standard of legal expertise
• Contribute to the overall organizational development of ECCHR at the leadership level

• Provide empowering leadership and supervision for the team, including supervision of personnel resources, to foster a working environment that encourages professional development, the well-being of team members, and a cooperative and inclusive spirit within the team based on an open and constructive feedback culture

• Plan and monitor the implementation of the Business and Human Rights program’s strategy in annual operational planning processes, including funding and financial administration of budgets, and supervise the implementation of projects
• Carry out casework (as a project leader or as a normal project team member), depending on the needs of the team

• Represent the Business and Human Rights program externally in exchanges with governments, legislators, civil society, grassroots networks and academia
• Supervise, manage and develop transnational litigation projects, including working with affected communities, partner organizations in and outside Europe, as well as partner lawyers

What you bring

• A law degree or equivalent university degree, for example in economics or political science
• Eight years of professional experience in legal interventions that work to establish corporate accountability for human rights violations and/or negative environmental impacts, or the management of (trans)national human rights projects in the field of business and human rights, involving various stakeholders, including affected communities
• Demonstrable experience in managing and/or monitoring budgets, as well as participating in fundraising efforts
• Demonstrable experience in managing or supervising personnel in a nongovernmental organization or other type of structure
• Excellent communication skills; sensitive approach to conflict prevention
• Excellent written and spoken English; a good knowledge of German is desirable; a working level of Spanish or French is a plus
• High sensitivity to working on eye level within intercultural and diverse environments and the experience and reflection needed to do so with global south partners from a position of privilege of a Germany-based organization
• Critical thinking on legal, political, and social issues and awareness of socio-political hierarchies such as gender, race, class, etc.
• Willingness to travel occasionally in and outside of Europe

The position is ideally to be filled by November 2024 and is limited to two years with the possibility of renewal

The remuneration for this position will start at 5400 Euro depending on the candidate’s relevant prior experience.

Additional benefits

• Flexible working time models, including the possibility of home office by arrangement within the team • Consideration for the (time) needs of parents and those with other care responsibilities
• 30 days of vacation per year with a 5-day week
• Monthly payment of the 49 Euro ticket (for public transportation) and payment of the Bahncard if required

• A flexible and open approach to trainings necessary for professional development • Full continued payment of salary if child falls ill
• Work laptop
• Support for further training measures

• Company cell phone if required
• Dog-friendly office
• We also offer numerous other benefits – from centrally located offices to team activities and free yoga classes

Please send your written application by email, including CV and cover letter in English as a single attachment, by the 7th of July to:

Application instructions

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