Protecting and promoting the human rights of discriminated minorities in Egypt

Deadline for applications: 19 November 2017 

This is an opportunity to deliver a feasibility study to examine options for strategic litigation to tackle minorities and indigenous people’s issues in Egypt.

Background

Minority Rights Group International is looking to fund qualified lawyers, consultants or researchers to carry out a study of the feasibility of using legal remedies for abuses of rights particularly affecting minorities in Egypt.

The overall objective of this project implemented by Minority Rights Group is to contribute to securing the human rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and contribute to greater pluralism, diversity and tolerance in Egypt.

Terms of Reference

Mission

Minority Rights Group International will fund qualified consultants or researchers to carry out a study of the feasibility of using legal remedies for abuses of rights particularly affecting minorities and indigenous peoples.

The study should identify ONE particular issue affecting minority or indigenous peoples in Egypt and address how strategic litigation could address the problem.

The study should result in a 10-20 pages practically oriented report detailing key information and findings, including names and contacts details of suitably qualified lawyers interested in taking cases (if possible pro bono) as well as existing precedents and areas of the law which would benefit from clarification or enforcement.

The study should outline the options available to pursue strategic litigation for strengthening and promoting minority rights in Egypt. The study on using strategic litigation to tackle a particularly discriminatory law and/or practice shall entail:

  • An analysis of legal cases related to ethnic and religious minorities
  • An analysis of laws and constitutional texts of relevance
  • A proposed plan for litigation

It should examine a number of issues including:

  • the facts and/or circumstances of the alleged violations, in chronological order as far as possible, with specific dates and locations.  Include all facts that you consider relevant to the complaint
  • identify the persons or authorities responsible for the violations, where relevant
  • any steps taken by the victim to obtain redress within the court system or administrative systems, detailing which procedures have been used, when they were attempted, and how the matter was concluded at each stage. Please attach copies of all relevant documents in this regard and details of any legal representative
  • legal and constitutional gaps to be addressed
  • extent of discriminatory practice highlighted by the cases and the wider impact
  • the availability of potential victims willing to engage
  • availability of witness and /or other evidence to prove the alleged violations
  • national, regional or international context in which the case can be taken
  • advocacy and policy-shaping opportunities
  • security concerns for both plaintiffs and their legal representatives
  • potential of the case to attract media attention and to generate public discourse
  • and possibilities for attracting additional funding to support strategic litigation.

The report should, where possible, also list NGOs already undertaking human rights legal work in Egypt and their degree of interest in involvement in or support with the potential litigation or linked advocacy or policy work. All reports will be peer-reviewed for quality by 2 experts as well as an MRG minority legal specialist. Once finalised, the reports will be used by MRG to develop advocacy / new projects.

Amount

The successful proposal should have a budget between 6,000 and 9,000 EUR, according to the researcher/s’ experience and the application submitted. It is more likely that we will fund a proposal with a budget close to the lower end of this range. Any proposal at the higher end of this range will need to be very well conceived, ambitious and with highly qualified contributors in order for us to agree to fund at the higher end of the range.

Deadline and project duration

The deadline to apply is 12 November 2017 11 pm UK time

We are looking to fund up to 2 projects. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, but no final decisions will be made until after the deadline has passed.

The applicant/s should be willing and able to submit draft reports no later than 3 months after the contract is signed. Final reports should be submitted no later three weeks after comments on the draft report are received.

Eligibility requirements and assessment criteria

We welcome applications from independent lawyers, consultants, civil society organisations, legal professionals, law firms and universities. The partners undertaking the studies will be expected to have detailed knowledge of legal systems and practices in the country, as well as of international human rights and minority rights norms and a basic understanding of international legal remedies. Previous experience in advocacy activities, as well as good connections with local civil society and/or minority rights activists, will be considered positively. They should have expert knowledge of the current social and political context in Egypt, including the situation and needs of minority communities in the country. Experience working thematically on legal advocacy and/or providing legal support to victims of violations of human rights and/or experience of working thematically on cases of discrimination against ethnic or religious minority groups will be also considered positvely.

Team members should have excellent writing skills and able to demonstrate experience of writing for non-legally qualified audiences in accessible ways. Knowledge of English is desirable: if the team does not have strong English, MRG will reserve a portion of the funding to translate the draft and final reports into English.

Preference will be given to proposals that will report on innovative strategic litigation. This could include issues that have not previously been litigated or use of novel legal remedies or techniques. Proposals will need to show how teams will consult relevant minority communities on their views on proposals to litigation minority rights issues. Proposals that include attention to inter-sectional discrimination within minority communities would be particularly welcomed.

Methodology

The applicants will be expected to meet and talk with minority community leaders to assess abuses of rights and the extent to which civil society organisations are already supporting individuals or groups to seek redress. Remedies investigated could include domestic litigation, National Human Rights Institutions, Equality Commissions or similar (as well as the potential prospects of success / limitations of such remedies). Where these do not exist, or have not proved effective, the studies may also explore potential advocacy opportunities and international legal remedies.

We are interested in litigation on all types of human rights abuses against ethnic, linguistic, religious minorities and/or indigenous people, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the UN Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and as protected by a number of international treaties, at the international and regional levels.

How to submit an application

All applications should include the following:

  • Summary CVs of main personnel (up to 3 CVs – each maximum 3 pages) plus contact information of main applicant and contacts of two references
  • Proposed methodology for the research and study, including the objectives, proposed stakeholders and beneficiaries, activities and timeframe (minimum 1 page, maximum 3 pages)
  • Detailed project budget
  • One writing sample/example of similar piece of work

We will accept applications in English and Arabic. Please submit all applications to Egypt@mrgmail.org. Any questions concerning the consultancy should be sent to the same email.

MRG is a non-governmental organisation working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples and seeking to improve cooperation and understanding between communities.

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