Researcher & Coordinator on Business and Human Rights at SOMO/OECD Watch

As a Business and Human Rights Researcher & Coordinator you will carry out research for the Human Rights & Grievance Mechanisms Programme and help coordinate the OECD Watch secretariat hosted by SOMO. OECD Watch is a global network with more than 100 CSO members in 50 countries. Both roles entail advocacy concerned with international standards for corporate accountability and non-judicial grievance mechanisms.

The objectives of the Human Rights & Grievance Mechanisms Programme’s are to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of individuals, workers, communities, and civil society organisations to prevent and stop human rights abuses caused by corporations.
  • Provide these stakeholders with the tools and information they need to access grievance mechanisms.
  • Improve the effectiveness of existing grievance mechanisms.
  • Advocate for new mechanisms that ensure respect for human rights and guarantee adequate access to remedies when abuses occur

The objectives of OECD Watch Network are to:

  • Ensure effective access to remedy  for communities, workers and individuals negatively affected by business conduct
  • Increase the effectiveness and reach of the OECD MNE Guidelines as a tool to ensure corporate accountability and access to remedy
  • Build capacity of civil society organisations to use the OECD Guidelines complaint mechanism to address cases of corporate misconduct.

You will use your expertise on these issues in support of your fellow team members, and you will approach the issues from the perspective of social justice. You are expected to carry out research in close cooperation with your team as well as with international partners. Besides these research activities, you will also contribute to strengthening NGOs, increasing public awareness, supporting national and international NGO networks, and stimulating the exchange of information.

Key activities and responsibilities

  • Coordination and strengthening of the OECD Watch secretariat with member outreach, development and implementation of strategic plan, advocacy, and case support. 
  • To support workers and communities in filing complaints to non-judicial grievance mechanisms, including those associated with development finance institutions and the National Contact Points under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • To carry out research into several of the following issues: impacts of multinational corporations on human rights and the environment, international standards for corporate accountability, and access to remedy for victims of human rights abuses by businesses. You will work in collaboration with other NGOs on all these topics and areas.
  • To assess the effectiveness of non-judicial grievance mechanisms and, together with partner organizations, develop recommendations to strengthen them and advocate for the adoption of those recommendations. 
  • To present research results in publications, on social media, at meetings, and during policy debates.
  • To give training to partner organizations and other NGOs in the field of corporate accountability standards and non-judicial grievance mechanisms.  To develop research methods and follow-up strategies aimed at addressing abuses.
  • To coordinate projects and provide project management. This includes coordinating with partner organisations, monitoring results, and delivering narrative and financial reports.
  • To maintain contacts with relevant NGOs, grievance mechanisms, research institutes, multinationals, government agencies, international organisations and the media.
  • To initiate new projects and react to tenders for commissions and grants.

Required skills

  • A university degree in a relevant academic field, preferably a background in law.
  • At least 4 years of experience working in the area of research within an international context. Methodological skills necessary to perform this research. Knowledge of international regulations and normative frameworks for businesses.
  • 2- 4 years of work experience using (judicial and) non-judicial mechanisms in the business and human rights context.
  • Experience in coordination of international NGO networks.
  • Ample experience with fundraising, project management and result-driven work.
  • Innovative and creative in the development of research methods and presentation of knowledge and expertise.
  • Proven affinity with the work area of SOMO and its international network.  Experience working in a developing country is desirable. 
  • Excellent command of English, and preferably also French and/or Spanish.
  • Good communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Independent and pro-active, while also being a good team-worker, both with office colleagues and with other organisations.
  • Experience or motivation to work with business- and news-databases (such as Lexis Nexis, Bloomberg, Orbis).


  • An exciting job within a very large national and international network.
  • An informal workspace with many opportunities for personal initiatives.
  • A one-year contract, renewable dependent on funding and job performance. Salary between €2,762 and €3,454 before taxes on a full-time basis (40 hours), depending on the candidate’s relevant work experience.


Applications should be emailed to Mr. Gerhard Schuil ([email protected]) before 25/08/2015. They should contain a CV, a letter of motivation and a writing sample, i.e. an existing report or article.

We realise that this job posting and the selection procedure might elicit questions from the applicant. However, due to the large volume of correspondence we receive with every job posting, we are not always able to attend adequately to all enquiries.

Job title: Researcher & Coordinator on Business and Human Rights

Location: Amsterdam

Salary: €2,762 - €3,454 per month dependant on experience 

Contract: Full time for 1 year; renewable dependent on funding 

Closing date: 25 August 2015