Researcher, Business & Human Rights at Human Rights Watch

The Business and Human Rights (“BHR”) Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a highly qualified applicant for the position of Researcher which will focus on investigating, analyzing, and advocating against human rights abuses linked to businesses, governments, and key international institutions. The role of the Researcher may include documenting and assessing the implications of business operations; tracking the evolution of national and international standards on business and human rights; and working to develop new areas of work on business and human rights. The position reports to the Director of the BHR Division and will be preferably based in New York, but other locations may be considered.


1. Research, monitor, and document human rights abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, companies, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces and others in the field;

2. Write and publicize accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, and timely reports and other advocacy documents (often including images, audio, video, data analysis, and/or online tools) that include policy recommendations intended to contribute to ending human rights abuses experienced by persons as a result of business and other economic activities;

3. Write op-eds, press releases, briefing memos, submissions to international bodies, statements, testimony, and other materials in order to disseminate our research findings and policy recommendations;

4. Assist in the development and implementation of local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices in the public and private sectors;

5. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project human rights concerns in public debate;

6. Place abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, company representatives, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and the media;

7. Assist the Director of the Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department in conducting fundraising;

8. Work closely with partner organizations to develop opportunities for our work to enhance and complement their own work;

9. Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;

10. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events;

11. Travel domestically and overseas, as required, to conduct fact-finding missions and advocacy;

12. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Division; and

13. Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, business, journalism, law, social sciences, or commensurate experience is required.

Experience: Minimum four years of relevant experience is required. Relevant experience may include among other things, work as an investigative reporter or attorney on issues related to corporate accountability; research and advocacy for nonprofit or impact litigation organizations; or work in government and international organizations on policies relating to business activity.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Ability to identify, research, analyze, and effectively communicate important human rights developments in the area of specialty is required.

2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses are required.

3. Ability to efficiently distil information about business and human rights issues so as to focus time and effort on issues of greatest importance or issues that are most capable of being influenced is required.

4. Ability to identify and advise the Director in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities is required.

5. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law is required.

6. Proven track record of producing timely first-rate written products and editing experience is required. Exceptionally strong research, analytical, writing, and editing skills are required.

7. Demonstrable experience conducting challenging investigative research is highly desirable.

8. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; proficiency in other languages is highly desirable

9. Expertise or familiarity with relevant technology is highly desirable.

10. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.

11. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.

12. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.

13. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals is desirable.

Other: Applicants for this position must be willing to travel frequently and be prepared to spend extensive time outside the office doing research or advocacy.

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.

How to Apply

Contact: Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, salary requirements, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references to [email protected]. Please use “Researcher Application Ref: BHR-15-1082” as the subject of your email.

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

Equal Opportunity Employer

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.

About Human Rights Watch

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: Researcher, Business & Human Rights

Location: New York

Closing date: 15 January 2015