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Policy Advisor, Migrant Rights and Justice, Regional


The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) works to improve the lives and defend the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children, and youth. As a research and advocacy organization, WRC is dedicated to securing systemic changes in policy and practice that ensure uprooted women, children, and youth can fully exercise their rights to protection, services, and self-sufficiency.

Migrant Rights and Justice Program

Migrant, stateless, and internally displaced people and refugee women and children around the world routinely face legal and human rights violations. WRC holds governments accountable to their obligation to respect women’s and children’s rights, so they can find safety, access justice, and rebuild their lives. Our rights and justice work includes issues of asylum, access to protection, immigration detention, family separation, and unaccompanied children’s rights.

Scope of Work

The policy advisor will lead and implement the Migrant Rights and Justice Program’s research and advocacy work to foster a protection-centered comprehensive regional approach to displacement in Central and North America. This approach includes:

  • continued advocacy for the respect of human rights and legal protection mechanisms for migrants and displaced people in countries throughout the region, as well as human rights-oriented foreign policy in the United States;
  • supporting civil society organizations’, governments’, and international organizations’ efforts to strengthen protection, immigration, and asylum systems, as well as fostering more welcoming laws, policies, and attitudes in the region;
  • working with civil society, governments, and international organizations to promote fair, safe, and humane access to legal protections and humanitarian services for migrants and displaced individuals.

Working with the Migrant Rights and Justice team, the policy advisor will strengthen WRC’s transnational regional portfolio by:

  • developing advocacy strategies to promote protection and reception mechanisms for people on the move;
  • developing new and strengthening regional partnerships with relevant stakeholders;
  • disseminating knowledge on circumstances and policies in countries of origin, transit, and destination, as well as on best practices and lessons learned;
  • monitoring and addressing inadequate or insufficient care, human rights violations, and abuses against displaced people.

This is a 15-month position, with possible extension.

Essential Job Functions

  • Monitor protection needs and impacts of specific regional humanitarian challenges; regional diplomatic relationships and US border and asylum policies and their consequences in Mexico and Central America; and immigration and asylum policies in Mexico and Central America.
  • Develop policy recommendations and conduct advocacy on various US and regional frameworks and other plans to respond to and manage regional migration.
  • Document and assess protection gaps and risks faced by displaced people in the region, especially those due to regional immigration enforcement.
  • Facilitate communication and connection among existing networks and WRC’s coalition of regional partners and allies for policy development and advocacy purposes and to create and elevate recommendations for humane regional responses to migration.
  • Educate and advise policymakers, lawmakers, US and regional government officials, and other relevant stakeholders on the interconnected nature of regional migration as it relates to US immigration and foreign policy, and on policy responses that are consistent with international and domestic laws.
  • Support WRC’s role in the Welcome with Dignity campaign around issues related to the regional consequences of US immigration and foreign policy, drivers of displacement, and conditions in countries of origin and transit.
  • Engage in travel within Mexico, Central America, and the US, contingent on international travel restrictions and health considerations related to COVID-19.
  • Envision, draft, edit, review, and/or finalize written products on a variety of subjects relating to regional migration and the US border, including statements, fact sheets, reports, backgrounders, declarations or other legal writing, and other communications to the public, including in coordination with colleague organizations where relevant.
  • In collaboration with Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program and the Development Department, assist in the development and preparation of proposals, budgets, and grant reports.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree and law degree or master’s degree in related fields or at least 3–5 years comparable related experience.
  • At least 5 years progressive work experience on refugee protection, US and regional Americas foreign policy, US border issues, human rights, and/or migration issues.
  • Regional and country-specific knowledge of Central and North America, particularly their immigration and protection systems.
  • Research and human rights monitoring experience preferred.
  • Previous experience working on US immigration and/or regional Americas legislative and administrative policy and advocacy.
  • Experience fundraising preferred.
  • Excellent strategic planning, organizational, innovation, and problem-solving skills.
  • Motivation to work both independently and as an effective member of a fast-paced team.
  • Capacity to take on multiple and diverse projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including editing and translations in English and Spanish.
  • Fully fluent and proficient in English and Spanish.
  • Demonstrated interest in human rights and dedication to WRC’s mission.

Reports to: Acting Director, Migrant Rights and Justice
Position: Regular, full-time for 15 months, with possibility of extension
Location: Washington, DC; with availability to travel in the region once restrictions due to the pandemic are lifted
Posting Date: ASAP
Closing Date: Until filled

How to Apply

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume via this link.


The Women’s Refugee Commission is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status or disability. Qualified applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Women’s Refugee Commission is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.