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Working as a linguist for the International Committee of the Red Cross: the inside story

A talk by Liz Harris from the ICRC

Event details

The International Committee of the Red Cross is seeking to recruit speakers of Pashto, Farsi/Dari, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Khmer and Sinhala to work in its field operations. Expatriate interpreters play a vital part in enabling the ICRC to fulfill its mandate to assist and protect the victims of armed conflict by participating in its humanitarian visits to detainees and other activities. The role is both challenging and immensely rewarding, giving recruits the chance to use their language skills for the world's oldest humanitarian organisation. Successful applicants can expect a competitive salary and benefits.
For reasons related to the ICRC's working procedures, in particular its principle of neutrality, the ICRC's expatriate staff cannot be nationals of or originate from the countries to which they are assigned.

Selection requirements:
• Ideal age: 25 to 45
• Prepared to accept an unaccompanied 12-month mission
• Solid command of the required language and English. French an asset
• University education or two years minimum work experience
• Driving licence (for manual transmission vehicles)
• Fully conversant with IT tools
Your profile:
• Strongly motivated by humanitarian work
• Open-minded and adaptable, able to work in a team
• Articulate with well-developed writing and summarising skills
• Ability to work under pressure in a potentially dangerous environment

Liz Harris will give a half hour presentation outlining the work of the ICRC and the role of interpreters, followed by a question and answer session.   Liz joined the ICRC as an Urdu interpreter in 2002, after graduating from SOAS with a BA in Hindi and South Asian History. She spent three years working in Indian Administered Kashmir, after which she studied Pashto and worked in Afghanistan for 15 months. During her mission, she was responsible for the ICRC’s detention visits in South Afghanistan as well as visiting detainees held by the US and other coalition forces. She is currently completing an MA in War Studies at King’s College, London.


Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies