Location Flexible
Application Deadline: March 18, 2021

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Senior Researcher on the Rights of Older People. This position will be responsible for leading our research and advocacy strategies on the human rights of older people. The location is flexible, with a preference for one of the following HRW offices: New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Sao Paulo, London, Brussels, Berlin, Johannesburg, Nairobi, or Beirut.

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely until our offices fully re-open. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.

1. Lead Human Rights Watch’s work on the rights of older people, through research, advocacy, partnerships, external representation, and internal collaboration.
2. Research, monitor, and document human rights abuses against older people around the world by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, governments, local media, NGOs, and others.
3. Write and publicize in-depth analytical research reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies.
4. Develop and implement innovative and impactful advocacy strategies to advance the human rights of older people in specific countries and globally.
5. Prepare, in collaboration with HRW’s Communications team, compelling multimedia products to advance advocacy on the rights of older people.
6. Respond promptly to queries from the media, government officials, and external partners.
7. Work closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international organizations; and other partners to ensure that HRW’s work on older people complements and enhances their own work.
8. Travel to different countries around the world to conduct on-the-ground fact-finding missions, and advocacy, representational or fundraising activities.
9. Develop the knowledge and capacity of colleagues in our programmatic, communications, advocacy, and fundraising departments to advance the rights of older people.
10. Support fundraising efforts.
11. Carry out other duties, as required.


1. Establish clear work plans for any staff or consultants and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for assignments delegated to others.
2. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements.
3. Ensure that the workload of any staff and consultants are manageable.
4. Manage and guide staff by listening, having two-way communication, sharing pertinent information, responding appropriately, and delegating appropriate responsibilities.
5. Provide appropriate and timely feedback on staff performance and provide guidance, coaching and training, as necessary.


We are eager to hear from candidates who can perform the essential functions of this role even if they do not meet all of our desired qualifications – particularly if they are from backgrounds underrepresented in the human rights field.

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

Experience: Minimum seven years of relevant experience in human rights research and advocacy is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:
1. Demonstrated knowledge of key issues and major developments concerning the rights of older people in specific country and regional contexts, as well as globally, is required.
2. Demonstrated leadership in advancing the rights of older people through human rights research and advocacy is required.
3. Ability to regularly conduct rigorous fact-finding research in a wide range of geographic, cultural, and other settings is required. Sensitivity to conduct interviews with a range of people, including victims and witnesses of human rights abuses, is required.
4. Ability to efficiently analyze large amounts of research and information about the rights of older people and identify trends and strategic priorities is required.
5. Ability to identify, develop and implement effective and impactful national, regional and global advocacy strategies on the rights of older people is required.
6. Ability to engage strategically and innovatively with global and local media to further advocacy goals is required.
7. Ability to demonstrate leadership within HRW to advance the capacity and knowledge of others in the organization to contribute to research and advocacy on the rights of older people.
8. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.
9. Knowledge of and familiarity with international human rights law is required.
10. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; proficiency in another language is highly desirable.
11. Strong interpersonal and leadership skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
12. Ability to multi-task, work effectively under pressure, plan, and organize effectively are required.
13. Experience in fundraising, including communicating effectively with existing and prospective donors, preparing donor proposals and reports, and identifying potential donors is desirable.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers comprehensive compensation and benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; people of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at careers.hrw.org and attaching a letter of motivation and CV, preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email recruitment@hrw.org. Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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.

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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