Advocate, Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a highly qualified candidate to serve as an Advocate with its Women’s Rights Division for 4 to 6 months. The Advocate will focus on promoting labor rights in garment and footwear companies based in Europe. S/he is responsible for developing a roadmap for an effective advocacy strategy for HRW’s advocacy with international brands, EU institutions and key member countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Labour Organization (ILO). This position reports to the Advocacy Director of the Women’s Rights Division based in New York.


  1. Develop strategies for advancing Human Rights Watch’s key recommendations on transparency, due diligence, and access to remedy in consultation with relevant HRW staff and external experts;
  2. Research relevant advocacy targets within the EU, relevant EU directives relating to import regulations and nonfinancial disclosure directive, EU member countries’ national laws governing corporate due diligence, the OECD national contact points, and the ILO;
  3. Develop a roadmap for engaging with supply chain reform initiatives at the ILO;
  4. Work collaboratively with other labor and human rights organizations and global unions, including by establishing and maintaining contacts and attending relevant meetings in Brussels, Geneva, and other cities as necessary;
  5. Monitor news developments in the garment industry, with a specific focus on operations in Cambodia and Bangladesh;
  6. Engage in dialogue with international brands about their monitoring and compliance procedures;
  7. Draft letters, press releases, and opinion pieces advancing Human Rights Watch’s key findings and recommendations promoting human rights in the garment and footwear sectors; and
  8. Perform other duties as required.


Education:  An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social science or related subject is required.

Experience: A minimum of 3 years of experience in business and human rights or working with EU institutions, the OECD, and the ILO is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Experience in designing and implementing successful advocacy initiatives is required. 
  2. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required; proficiency in French is desirable.
  3. Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to diverse audiences is required.
  4. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with international partners and government officials is required.
  5. Capacity to appropriately plan and prioritize and to manage multiple, sometimes competing, demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced, pressured environment is required. 
  6. Significant knowledge about labor rights and supply chains and work with global unions and labor rights groups, especially in the garment sector, is strongly preferred.

Other:Applicants for this position must possess current German, Belgian, or UK work authorization valid for a minimum of two years from start date.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.

Contact: Please submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references to [email protected] by 16 October 2015. Please use “Advocate Ref: WRD-15-1071” as the subject of your email.

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

Job title: Advocate, Women’s Rights Division

Location: Berlin, Brussels, or London

Contract: Fixed term contract for 4 to 6 months

Closing date: 16 October 2015