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 referees. Please be sure to let us know your relationship to each referee 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.
May 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 for me to just submit an unsolicited (speculative) resume for an internship?
No. Candidates should apply for posted internships only.
How long do I need to commit to an internship for?
Internships vary in length and the expected commitment is listed on the posting.
Will there be an opportunity for overseas travel for Interns?
Generally, no. At this time, we are unable to offer interns the opportunity for international assignments.
Do you have paid internships?
Internships at HRW are generally unpaid. For certain exceptions, the posting will provide more details. Students are often able to arrange academic credit, as HRW internships often offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by the HRW 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.
How do I know if an internship position is still available?
Generally, internships postings are removed from our website when the position has been filled or is no longer available.
How can HRW help me if I do not have work authorization for an internship position?
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 application process can take several weeks and applicants will have to incur their own costs. For our other office locations, valid work authorization is also requested.
How many fellowships does HRW offer?
Human Rights Watch offers three fellowships:
• Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship – a one-year fellowship open to any candidate, from any institution, domestic or foreign;
• The Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship – a one-year fellowship open only to recent J.D. graduates of Columbia Law School;
• The NYU School of Law Fellowship at HRW – a one-year fellowship open only to 2016 J.D. graduates of New York University School of Law and recent J.D. graduates who would begin the fellowship immediately upon completion of a judicial clerkship.
Please note that the Bernstein Fellowship is directly administered by Yale Law School.
Do you accept non-U.S. nationals to be considered for HRW fellowships?
Yes. The fellowships are open to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria, regardless of nationality or immigration status. Human Rights Watch will assist prospective fellows in obtaining the necessary work authorization; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
Can I speak to someone from the Fellowship Committee?
The Fellowship Committee is unable to respond to individual requests for information. Applicants should not call Human Rights Watch under any circumstances with questions concerning their application. You can send inquiries by email for the Finberg, Sandler, and NYU Fellowships to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants should not call Human Rights Watch under any circumstances with questions concerning their application.
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 HRW. 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 HRW. Fellows often find employment with other human rights organizations, international organizations, or academic institutions, depending on their qualifications.
What are the chances of getting a fellowship?
The Human Rights Watch fellowships are highly competitive. Last year, we received over 1,000 applications. Out of these, we were able to interview only 12 candidates, for three fellowship positions. We expect a similar number of applicants and interviewees this year.