If you are interested in becoming a human rights researcher and a leading expert in this field, then you are in the right place. This article offers an overview of ten organizations that often hire human rights researchers.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that employs around 400 human rights professionals (researchers, lawyers, journalists, academics, etc.) around the world. HRW defends the rights of people by investigating human rights abuses and exposing the facts on those abuses by putting pressure on governments to respect those rights and secure justice.
HRW employs candidates who are passionate about human rights and determined to make an impact on people’s lives around the world. HRW currently employs more than 80 human rights researchers who work using a consistent methodology on information gathering from a variety of sources and directly on the field. On their website you can read more about HRW research work.
The United Nations (UN) is an international, global and inter-governmental organization founded in 1945 with an aim to maintain peace and security, as well as to deal with the issues of climate change, human rights, sustainable development, gender equality, humanitarian disasters and more.
One of the key guiding principles of the UN is the promotion and protection of human rights, mainly through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and other human rights bodies. The UN employs around 41.000 staff who come from 193 Member States with a variety of background and experience. The UN agencies often employ human rights researchers to work on international and national rights regarding the rights of children, women and other issues related to the broader area of human rights. If you are interested in working as a human rights researcher for the UN, you can keep track of open positions on the UN careers portal.
The Geneva Academy was established in 2007 by the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Since then it has gained a global recognition for its teaching and research attracting experts from all over the world.
The Academy focuses its research on clarifying International Humanitarian Law, strengthening human rights protection and developing the areas of complementarity between these two disciplines. The research usually focuses on examining issues that are under-explored and need more clarification. The Academy currently employs around 15 researchers and regularly accepts fellows who are interested in this line of work.
Amnesty International is one of the leading human rights organizations in the world “campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all”. It was founded in 1961 in order to draw attention to human rights abuses and mobilize public opinion to pressure governments to protect and respect human rights. Today, this organization has more than seven million supporters and followers across the world.
The organization’s experts conduct research into human rights violations by governments world-wide in six main areas: women’s, children’s, minorities’ and indigenous rights, ending torture, abolition of death penalty, right of refugees, rights of prisoners and human dignity. If you are interested in working as a human rights researcher for Amnesty International, then you should keep a close eye on their jobs and internships website.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a non-profit human rights organization that documents and advocates against severe human rights violations through medicine and science. PHR was established in 1986 with an aim to advocate to prevent torture, research and document mass atrocities and hold those who violate human rights accountable. Today, PHR employs and mobilizes health professionals, forensic scientist and other experts to investigate and expose human rights violations across the world. Currently, PHR conducts its activities in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Iraq, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Syria and the United States.
PHR experts use scientific tools and forensic medicine in order to research and document evidence of sexual violence, torture, and other violations. Often, the PHR experts are research and examine extra-judicial killings and supervise exhumations of mass graves. If you have obtained a medical degree and are interested in human rights area, you should consider starting your career as a human rights researcher at the PHR.
Refugees International is a non-profit and independent human rights organization that advocates for assistance to and protection of displaced people. It focuses on the refugee issues, humanitarian and human rights issues that need attention and action by governments, policymakers and other organizations and actors.
The experts who work at the organization often conduct field research in order to assess situation and investigate severe human rights violations. They often travel to the most critical locations in order to examine the conditions in which refugees and internally displaced people live as well as to assess the responses to those needs by governments, non-governmental organizations and local and international humanitarian organizations. If you wish to join the Refugee International team you can keep track of active job posts here.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the largest intergovernmental organization in Europe that is security oriented. The OSCE’s mandate encompasses issues such as arms control, freedom of press, fair elections and promotion of human rights.
One of the core principles by which the OSCE is guided is the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The OSCE is active in providing participating countries with advice, expertise and assistance in promotion of human rights through its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Therefore, if you wish to work as a human rights researcher for OSCE, you can keep track of open vacancies here.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is the center of fundamental rights expertise in the European Union (EU). It is one of the EU’s agencies established to provide expertise and advice to the EU institutions and Member States on a range of issues. The FRA helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of all people living within the EU borders are protected.
The agency conducts research project as well as the research components that include analysis, opinions and advice. The departments that conduct research on fundamental rights issues within the agency are Equality and Citizens’ Rights Department and Freedoms and Justice Departments. If you are interested in conducting research within these departments, you can keep track of open job vacancies here.
Anti-slavery International was established in 1839 and it is the oldest international human rights organization in the world. It works exclusively on combating slavery and similar abuses. The organization was involved in the development of all major laws against slavery, such as the UN Slavery Conventions from 1926 and 1956. The basis of the organization’s work is in affected local communities in which it empowers people to leave slavery and helps slavery victims.
One of the core approaches that the Anti-Slavery International uses in order to tackle the problems of slavery is research. Experts working at this organization collect information and publish reports on human rights abuses in order to draw attention of the public and promote public action to end these abuses either through media or campaigns. If you wish to work and contribute to anti-slavery in the world, you can follow job openings at this organization here.
The Conflict and Environment Observatory (CEOBS) was founded in 2018 with a goal of increasing understanding of environmental and humanitarian consequences of conflicts and military activities by challenging the idea of the environment as a “silent victim of armed conflict”.
The CEOBS continued to work on the basis of six years of research and policy work by its predecessor the Toxic Remnant of War Project. The goal of this project was to identify new ways for research and collecting of data on environmental harm and the human suffering it causes and the way this data can be used for greater protection of environment during and after armed conflict. If you are interested in doing research in this area you can keep track of open vacancies here.