Disability Rights Division Intern

Application Deadline:  15 August 2021

The Disability Rights Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a law student, graduate level LL.M. student, or graduate student in a relevant field with a demonstrated strong interest in international human rights to intern in our Brussels office. Ideally, the candidate will be available for four to six months beginning in October 2021 with flexible hours. The student will intern closely with HRW staff and will build skills in conducting desk research, advocacy, and media monitoring in relation to human rights. The intern will gain experience within a small office of a large, well-organized, international non-profit organization and gain knowledge of key disability rights issues and priority human rights issues in the organization.

Due to COVID-19, many of our offices remain closed or are open at a limited capacity. HRW prioritizes the safety of our interns. In locations that have eased office restrictions and are open at a limited capacity, interns are not expected to report to the office and remote arrangements will remain an option for the foreseeable future. However, interns may have the option of reporting to an office on a voluntary basis in accordance with HRW’s COVID-19 policies.

The internship will primarily focus on: 

  • Conducting background desk research on a range of disability rights issues, including violence against people with disabilities, prisoners with disabilities, access to education, involuntary detention, and people with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies;
  • Drafting advocacy documents such as press releases, letters, op-eds, and submissions to the United Nations;
  • Participating in EU meetings and meetings with disability experts, as the opportunity arises; and
  • Other projects may be assigned as they arise and match the intern’s interests and abilities.

Students may also have opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, events relating to human rights, as well as network with other HRW interns, volunteers, and employees. As an HRW intern, students will take skills acquired in school and apply them in a professional setting.

Qualifications:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate-level academic program for the duration of the internship. The internship must be a required part of the intern’s academic program.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required;
  • Fluency in another language is desirable;
  • Well-organized, self-motivated, and reliable candidates are desirable;
  • Previous desk research experience with an understanding of, and a strong interest in international human rights is preferred;
  • Interest and/or experience in the disability rights field is desirable;
  • Relevant coursework in disability rights, human rights, law, and/or policy is a plus; and
  • Internet research and computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Office, internet applications) are required. 
  • Students are strongly encouraged to secure external funding through grants or scholarships, such as the Erasmus+ program or other similar programs;

Applicants who are offered an internship must possess valid work authorization in Belgium for the duration of the internship.

Compensation: This internship is unpaid. However, interns will be reimbursed for their lunch and local travel costs as pre-approved by HRW and in accordance with HRW policy.  Students are often able to arrange academic credit, as HRW internships may offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by the HRW staff, and interaction with other international organizations and foreign and domestic government officials. Students should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements. 

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at: https://careers.hrw.org and attaching a CV/resume, letter of interest, and a writing sample. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the large number of applications only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email internships@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 do not discriminate in hiring practices and actively seek a diverse applicant pool. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and those with criminal records to apply. 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 governments and international institutions.

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