Human Rights Watch Seeks A Researcher on Western Europe

Application Deadline: October 15, 2012

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a Researcher to monitor human rights developments in Western European countries as part of a small team. This position reports to a Deputy Director in the Europe and Central Asia (“ECA”) Division.


  • Monitor and document human rights developments in Western European countries by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, the European Union, the Council of Europe, local media, NGOs, journalists, diplomats and others;
  • Assist in the development and implementation of local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies and practices in collaboration with colleagues inside HRW and with international and national NGO partners;
  • Conduct research and interview victims of human rights abuses and other relevant parties;
  • Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds and submissions to international bodies based on the findings;
  • Present human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies and the media;
  • Advocate effectively for human rights change with government officials, with European Union institutions and elsewhere;
  • Respond promptly to queries from the media, public and colleagues in the human rights community;
  • Work closely with colleague non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights organizations to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work;
  • Liaise with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  • Deliver outputs in a timely manner and maintain consistency with the agreed strategy and priorities of the ECA Division;
  • Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements; and
  • Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, ECA regional studies, journalism, law or social sciences is required. 

Experience: Minimum 3-5 years of directly-related experience working on the countries of Western Europe, including significant time spent living and working in the region. Prior field research and documentation skills are essential. 

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Ability to identify, research, analyze, prioritize and effectively communicate important human rights developments in a timely and sophisticated fashion is required.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law is required.
  • Knowledge of European Union institutions is highly desirable and knowledge of civil law systems is desirable.
  • Thematic expertise in one or more of the following areas is highly desirable: anti-discrimination; economic and social rights; minority rights; and migration policy.
  • Ability to identify and advise the ECA Division in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities is required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; fluency in at least one of the following languages is also required: French, German, Greek, Italian or Spanish.
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about international and local media environments and how to use the media (including electronic and social media) to further advocacy goals is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
  • Ability to multi-task effectively including having good planning and organizational skills, and the ability to work under pressure are required.
  • Creativity, initiative, perseverance, and flexibility are required while maintaining HRW’s high methodological standards.
  • Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required. 

Other:This position requires frequent travel within the region, both for short periods of time as well as longer research missions, sometimes at short notice. The Researcher will be based in HRW’s office inBrussels or at another HRW office in Europe (London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam or Geneva). The Researcher must be prepared to spend significant periods of time in HRW’s London, Berlin and/or New York offices, particularly in the first year of employment for purposes of orientation, integration into the organization, and training and thereafter for regular consultation. 

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Contract Duration:Initial three year fixed term contract. Renewable depending on the availability of continued funding. 

Contact: Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, salary requirements, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references via email. Please use “Western Europe Researcher Ref ECA-12-1054-A” as the subject of your email.

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only qualified candidates.