I want to work for Human Rights Watch. How can I find out about vacancies?
All full-time staff vacancies are posted on our website. Check back periodically to see what new jobs have been posted.
I really want to work for HRW, but I have no direct experience. How can I break in?
The best way to learn how to prepare yourself for a job at Human Rights Watch is to check the "Qualifications" or "Requirements" sections of our job postings. Recent college graduates usually fill our administrative positions, but for professional positions, most of our research staff come to us with at least several years of experience, including varied experience and skills in international human rights investigation, reporting, and activism. Typically for professional positions we seek related graduate-level coursework, NGO or non-profit work or internship experience, field experience, research and communications skills, international exposure, relevant language fluency, good judgment, and organizational and interpersonal skills. Building your resume with as many of these qualifications as possible is a good way to enhance your suitability for a job at HRW.
I've called your office with questions but I haven't received a return phone call. Is it possible for me to request an informational interview?
Unfortunately, we're unable to respond to individual employment calls or offer informational interviews due to the high volume of such requests we receive each day. The best way to stay informed about jobs at HRW is to check back at our website periodically. This way you'll get an idea of the positions we post and the qualifications we seek.
Do you want letters of reference or just names and phone numbers?
We want to be able to contact your referees by phone or in person so that we can discuss your qualifications in relation to the job for which you have applied, so each reference letter must be backed up with a phone number from the referee. In cases where the referee is unreachable (i.e., a retired professor or former supervisor in a remote location), we will accept such letters of reference as additional supporting documentation, but you will need to provide phone numbers for additional references. Please be sure to let us know your relationship to each reference and his or her current title.
What's an unedited writing sample?
By "unedited", we mean that it should not be substantially altered in form or content by a second writer. It should not be a law review article or other similar heavily-edited document. It does not have to be long, or necessarily related to the position you are applying for, but it must be representative of your own written style and ability to express your thoughts clearly, concisely, and compellingly. (It is not a handwriting sample.)
What happens after I submit my resume?
Your application will be added to the application pool for review by a staff search committee. Typically, a small number of applicants are selected for a preliminary phone or video interview, and of that pool a smaller number will be chosen for an in-person panel interview. We conduct applicant testing and reference checks prior to making job offers.
Should I call you after I submit my application?
No. We do not take email or phone inquiries about positions. In order to reduce the administrative burden of handling large numbers of applications, only candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.
How can HRW help me if I do not have US work authorization?
HRW usually cannot obtain visas for administrative support positions, but for professional positions Human Rights Watch works with an immigration expert and assumes the costs to assist employees in obtaining necessary U.S. work authorization, so non-US citizens are encouraged to apply. We can also assist with relocation costs.
Will I have to pay taxes on my salary?
HRW is neither equipped nor authorized to provide personal tax advice. Employees are responsible for obtaining personal tax advice and paying all applicable taxes deriving from their employment with HRW.
Can I apply for more than one internship?
Yes, you are welcome to apply for additional opportunities. For each listing that you are interested in, please send in a separate application.
Is it a good idea to submit an unsolicited (speculative) resume for an internship?
No, only candidates who apply online and undergo a competitive recruitment process will be considered for an internship opportunity.
What is the expected length and time commitment for an internship?
Internships vary in length and schedule. The expected commitment is listed in the specific posting.
Does Human Rights Watch provide compensation for internships?
Compensation depends on the location of your internship. Interns may receive reimbursements for food and/or travel, a monthly stipend, or an hourly/monthly wage. More details can be found in the posting.
Can I receive academic credit for my internship?
Students are often able to arrange academic credit, as Human Rights Watch internships offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by the Human Rights Watch staff, interaction with other international organizations and foreign and domestic government officials, and opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, and special events relating to human rights. Students should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements. Please note receiving academic would not affect the compensation you receive.
When are positions available on your website?
Below you can find the general timeline of when internship opportunities are posted to our website: • Fall semester internships will be posted by June/July • Winter/spring semester internships will be posted by October/November • Summer internships will be posted by March/April
How do I know if an internship position is still available?
All internship postings have an application deadline. Once the deadline has passed, the posting will be removed from our website and applications will no longer be received.
How can Human Rights Watch help me if I do not have work authorization for an internship position?
Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not sponsor work authorization for interns. Applicants who are offered an internship in the US, but who are not US permanent residents, US citizens, or in possession of a valid student visa, must apply for a J-1 visa through a sponsoring organization. The J-1 process can take several weeks and applicants will have to incur their own costs. For our non-US office locations, valid work authorization is also required.
Does my internship need to take place in a Human Rights Watch office?
All internships must take place within one of our Human Rights Watch offices. The office and location of the internship is specified in the posting. If your resume/CV indicates that you are not currently based in the location of the internship, please make sure to explicitly note in your cover letter that you will be available to intern at the specified internship location for the duration of the term.
Can I speak to someone regarding the status of my internship?
You can send inquiries by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered. Unfortunately, given the volume of applications, Human Rights Watch is not able to respond to calls or emails with questions about individual applications.
How many fellowships does Human Rights Watch offer?
Human Rights Watch offers four fellowships:
• Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship – a one-year fellowship open to candidates who hold an advanced (graduate level) degree from any institution by the start of the fellowship term;
• The Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship – a one-year fellowship only open to candidates who hold a J.D. from Columbia Law School by the start of the fellowship term;
• The NYU School of Law Fellowship at HRW – a one-year fellowship only open to candidates who hold a J.D. from New York University School of Law by the start of the fellowship term; and
• Aryeh Neier Fellowship – a two-year fellowship (one year with Human Rights Watch, one year with the American Civil Liberties Union) open to candidates who hold a J.D. from U.S. law schools or applicants who will have a J.D. from a U.S. law school by the start of the fellowship term. This fellowship is offered every other year.
How can Human Rights Watch help me if I do not have work authorization?
Human Rights Watch will assist prospective Fellows in obtaining the necessary work authorization.
Can I speak to someone from the Fellowship Committee?
You can send inquiries by email to email@example.com. Inquiries regarding status of applications will go unanswered. Unfortunately, given the volume of applications, Human Rights Watch is not able to respond to calls or emails with questions about individual applications.
When the year is over and one has completed the fellowship program, are there possibilities of full-time employment at Human Rights Watch?
Some Fellows do go on to long-term employment with Human Rights Watch. If there is an employment opportunity that opens up for which the Fellow is qualified, Fellows are encouraged to apply. However, there is no guarantee of future employment with Human Rights Watch. Fellows often find employment with other human rights organizations, international organizations, or academic institutions, depending on their qualifications.
How does Human Rights Watch’s Fellowship program embrace diversity?
Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.
What kind of support and training do Fellows receive during the fellowship program?
Human Rights Watch provides all Fellows with training and mentorship, including intensive training on how to conduct human rights research using Human Rights Watch’s methodology, as well as advocacy, communications, writing, and publishing trainings. All Fellows also receive regular and timely feedback and guidance on professional growth throughout the fellowship program.