Business & Human Rights

Business and Human Rights Intern


Washington, DC (United States)

Position Type



Fall 2017


September 15, 2017 11:59PM ET

ID Reference



The Business and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a law student intern with an interest in corporate accountability, international relations, economics, criminal justice, and human rights, or related fields, who would like to expand their understanding and practical knowledge of human rights. The student will intern with the division’s senior researcher and focus on research, analysis, and outreach tasks for ongoing projects related to inequality in the US, predatory practices against the poor, security and extractives, and standard setting at the local, national, and international level. Ideally, the intern will be available starting in August or September 2017 in our DC office (dates and hours are flexible).

The internship is unpaid. We recommend that students secure funding through external scholarships and grants. Please check with your academic institution for more information on possible sources of funding. 

Human Rights Watch is strengthened profoundly by the diversity of our interns and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and more. We actively seek and welcome applications from persons with disabilities, people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, women, and LGBTI persons. 

Additional opportunities: 
  • Direct exposure to the workings of a large, international human rights organization, as well as to the HRW report research, writing, and publication processes; 
  • Induction training on the internal working of HRW; 
  • Participation in select in-house events such as a speaker series, and other events organized within the organization particularly for the interns; and 
  • Possibility to obtain academic credit (students should check with their individual academic institution for requirements).


Research assistance: The intern will use online resources to conduct research—this includes reviewing and analyzing media articles, policy papers, legal documents, academic reports, and NGO reports. 

Media monitoring: The intern will monitor ongoing projects, and track new developments in the field of business and human rights. 

Advocacy activities: The intern will draft research and legal memos, project analyses, letters, press releases, and other written materials. The intern may also have the opportunity to attend meetings with civil society partners, government agencies, subject area experts, and others.


  • All interns must be enrolled in an accredited law program. 
  • A passion for and an eagerness to learn more about human rights and international issues related to businesses and predatory practices against the poor; 
  • An exemplary academic record combined with relevant coursework and/or research/work/clinical/practical experiences; 
  • Self-motivation and ability to work independently with strong attention to detail; 
  • A commitment to diversity; 
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills in English (knowledge of other languages is a plus); 
  • Computer skills (e.g. Microsoft Office, internet applications).
Applicants who are offered an internship, but who are not US permanent residents or in possession of a valid student visa, must apply for a J-1 visa through a sponsoring organization. Please note that this process can take several weeks and applicants will be responsible for costs incurred. 


    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.

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