Research Assistant on LGBT Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

Research Assistant on LGBT Rights in the Middle East and North Africa
LGBT Rights Division
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: March 15, 2023

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Program of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Research Assistant to assist in the monitoring and reporting of human rights violations affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  This is a fixed-term position for one year. The Research Assistant will preferably be based in Lebanon, Tunisia or Jordan but other locations in the MENA region will be considered. The Research Assistant will report to the Senior Researcher on LGBT Rights based in the Berlin office.

The successful candidate may have the option to work remotely.  We aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


1. Provide research assistance and administrative support to the Senior Researcher on LGBT Rights;

2. Develop contacts with government officials and other regional, national and local actors, including using pre-existing networks among rights activists and organizations to expand HRW’s monitoring capabilities and access to information regarding human rights abuses;

3. Assist the Senior Researcher in monitoring human rights conditions and documenting abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including victims of abuses, local LGBTI communities, NGOs, media, and governments;

4. Assist the Senior Researcher in following up to verify specific cases of human rights violations;

5. Under the guidance of the Senior Researcher, provide write-ups of interviews, and, when appropriate, first drafts of briefing papers, letters, news releases, submissions to international bodies, etc.; prepare written summaries and synthesis of research for incorporating into HRW publications;

6. Assist the Senior Researcher in preparing reports for discussion with governmental officials, NGOs and other external partners;

7. Coordinate with the Senior Researcher in managing local logistical issues, such as finding drivers, fixers, translators;

8. Assist with translations from English to Arabic and from Arabic to English;

9. Travel throughout the MENA region, with the Senior Researcher and independently, to conduct research; travel internationally as appropriate to attend specific trainings or planning sessions;

10. Provide administrative support such as scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, taking minutes, processing expenses, creating agenda, preparing background materials, conducting follow-up to meetings, and providing written updates; and

11. Perform other tasks, as may be required.


Education:  A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent experience in international relations, law, journalism, social sciences, gender studies or relevant studies is required.

Experience: A minimum of one year of relevant work experience is required. Previous work, internship, or volunteer experience on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights is highly desirable.

Related Skills and Knowledge: 

1. Demonstrated interest in human rights issues affecting LGBT people in the MENA region is required.

2. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.

3. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with external partners are required.

4. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic are required. Language skills in French are highly desirable.

5. Excellent computer skills and internet/social media research skills are required.

6. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and excellent writing and editing skills are required.

7. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with function is required.

Other: Candidates must possess valid work authorization for the location in which they would be based; HRW is unable to sponsor work permits for this role.

Salary and Benefits:  HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.

Apply here