Consultant on Rights and Dignity of Sanitation Workers in Pakistan

  • Anywhere
Organization: Amnesty International
Closing date: 15 May 2023

Amnesty International South Asia Regional Office seeks a consultant, ideally based in Pakistan, to conduct research on the rights and dignity of sanitation workers, and to make visible, the issues of sanitation workers and manual scavengers in Pakistan.

Do you have experience in qualitative and quantitative research?
Are you a native speaker and competent in languages spoken in regions of Pakistan?
Do you have experience working on issues of caste, gender and religious minorities?


In south Asia, the occupation of sanitation work is regarded as filthy and polluting and is assigned to the oppressed: so-called low castes and religious minorities. Women from these communities are particularly forced in manual scavenging, which is a practice of cleaning, carrying on their heads and disposing of human excreta from dry latrines or sewers. The practice of manual scavenging is a major cause of social stigma and discrimination; although it is deemed illegal, manual scavenging continues to be the most inhumane and degrading work.

Sanitation workers in South Asia, providing essential services are often subjected to health and safety hazards, exploitative working conditions, low pay and temporary contracts, and social stigma and discrimination. The indignity, discrimination and marginalisation faced by sanitation workers in South Asia is circular. They are stigmatised because of their occupation as a sanitation worker which they do not freely choose, yet because of their inherited birth status in the caste hierarchy they are unable to gain non-stigmatised alternative work. Caste based discrimination is prevalent and so severe that it doesn’t spare the children of so- called “low” castes who are compelled into cleaning school toilets.


  • Undertake in-depth research on the issue of sanitation from the perspective of human dignity and decent work issues of Dalits using an intersectional approach that includes gender, caste, class and religion
  • Ensure the research contextualises the historical neglect and intergenerational discrimination that reinforces forced, inhumane and precarious labour conditions and take stock of the issues of sanitation workers
  • Ensure the research includes a legal analysis of national legal provisions and international safeguards that are violated
  • Ensure the research methodology forefronts the voices of the communities and actively consults the local grass roots organisations in their struggles for humane and decent work
  • Ensure the research presents real life case studies and testimonies of affected groups as well as through focus group discussions and interviews with key stakeholders including sanitation workers and communities, experts, academics, and activists ensuring a fair balance of gender and intersectional identities
  • Ensure the recommendation of the research will integrate a theory of change what will accelerate the promotion of the agency of the women belonging to the so called low-castes and religious minorities who are forced into sanitation work
  • Ensure the recommendations addresses the root causes of inequality and discrimination in sanitation work from the perspective of multiple and intersecting identities with direct reference to gender, caste, and religious minorities
  • Report to South Asia Regional Office Deputy Director (Research) and work in close coordination with Policy Advisor on Work and Descent based Discrimination
  • From the start of date of signing the research consultancy submit the draft within two months and additional four month for reviews, translations and publishing.


  • Upon signing the contract, the consultant to produce an outline of the research in two weeks’ time for Amnesty staff to review.
  • Once the outline is agreed upon by Amnesty staff, for a period of one month, based on the criteria set out in the objectives and deliverables section, the consultant to engage in research that includes both desk-based research as well as interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Thereafter, the consultant to produce a first draft in one month to be shared with Amnesty staff for their reviews.
  • Amnesty staff member to review the first draft with inputs and return the draft back to the consultant for amends within 1 week of submission for review
  • Consultant to revise the draft to final in two weeks and submit for law and policy review by Amnesty teams
  • Once returned from law and policy review, Consultant to revise draft in line with comments in one week and submit for final review to Regional Director.
  • Once returned from final review, Consultant to address any remaining concerns and prepare document in line with Amnesty standards, for final publication

From the date of signing the contract, the consultant will have in total six months for the research to be completed in full and the launch is pegged in early November.


  • Experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research, particularly in relation to sanitation workers and manual scavengers
  • Native speaker and competent in languages spoken in regions of Pakistan
  • To be in based in country to be able to undertake physical interviews and focus group discussions
  • Experience working on issues of caste, gender and religious minorities


Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 10 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. We reach almost every country in the world.

Our aim is simple: an end to human rights abuses. Independent, international and influential, we campaign for justice, fairness, freedom and truth wherever they’re denied. And whether we’re applying pressure through powerful research or direct lobbying, mass demonstrations or online campaigning, we’re all inspired by hope for a better world. One where human rights are respected and protected by everyone, everywhere.

At Amnesty International, we are passionate about what we do and we are proud of our achievements as a movement. To compensate our employees for the critical work they do, we reward them through a combination of an attractive and sector competitive salary and benefits package, high levels of engagement and involvement, and a commitment to employee development.


Please submit at least two original research writing samples which have not been edited by a third party.

Bidding Instructions

To bid for this work, please submit the following:

  • Your CV
  • A cover letter demonstrating your research skills in both qualitative and quantitative research as well as previous research experience
  • Two copies of published writing samples
  • Your proposed approach to this Opportunity
  • A detailed breakdown of the fees you would charge for this work

Prices must be given in USD

As standard, payments are made by Amnesty International 30 days after receipt of a valid invoice for the agreed work milestone completed.

Bids must be in PDF, Word, PowerPoint or Excel format.

Bidding Timeline

Deadline for application is 15th May 2023.

The Small Print

The chosen bidder will be expected to conform to our Supplier Code of Conduct and our standard Consultancy Terms and Conditions and will receive a contract containing these documents to review once this process has concluded.

Your responses will be treated as Confidential Information.

Amnesty International Limited shall not be liable for costs borne by, or any claims arising from, bidders participating in this tender process.

We reserve the right to modify this Opportunity at any time prior to the scheduled date for written responses. Additional scope and requirements can be added. Notification of such changes will be provided to all known bidders.

Amnesty International Limited also reserves the right to:

  • reject any or all responses to this Opportunity
  • single or multi-source
  • cancel the tender at any time and for any reason

If you are talented, passionate about human rights and want to use your skills, knowledge and experience to change the world then we would encourage you to click ‘Apply for this Role’ below.

Freedom, Justice, Equality. Let’s get to work.

N.B. We reserve the right to close a vacancy before the closing date in the event of an overwhelming response or a change in business priorities.

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