Human Rights Watch, Nairobi, Kenya

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th November, 2020

Job Description

The Africa Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Great Lakes Researcher. The Africa Division works to promote human rights in Africa and conducts a wide range of work, including human rights investigations, report writing, advocacy, building local partnerships, and media work. The Researcher will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy agenda on human rights conditions in the Great Lakes region. The position reports to the Senior Researcher in the Africa Division and will be based in the Nairobi office. Due to COVID-19, this position will work remotely for the foreseeable future until our offices fully re-open.


  •  Research, monitor and document human rights abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces and others in the field;
  •  Conduct field research in the Great Lakes region, when possible, and in neighboring countries on grave human rights violations and abuses, including those related to political repression, as needed and in collaboration with colleagues;
  •  Write and publicize reports, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on the findings of the research;
  •  Develop and implement local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
  •  Place abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media;
  •  Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
  •  Work closely with international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work;
  •  Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  •  Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Africa Division;
  •  Assist the Africa Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department in conducting fundraising;
  •  Travel in the region and internationally, as required, in order to carry out research and advocacy;
  •  Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events; and
  •  Perform other duties as required.


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

Experience: A minimum of three years of experience in human rights, journalism, law, or related fields, including time spent working in the Great Lakes region, is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  •  Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French are required; ability to speak Kirundi, Swahili, or Kinyarwanda is desirable.
  •  Significant knowledge of human rights and politics in the Great Lakes region is required.
  •  Ability to identify and prioritize, research, analyze and effectively communicate human rights issues in a rigorous, timely and sophisticated fashion is required.
  •  Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims, witnesses, and government officials are required.
  •  Ability to develop and implement realistic and effective local and international advocacy strategies in order to identify and seize advocacy opportunities is required.
  • Ability to produce high quality written materials under tight deadlines is required.
  •  Knowledge of and familiarity with international and African regional human rights laws and instruments are required.
  •  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.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
  •  Ability to work quickly and effectively under pressure with a broad range of people and as part of a team is required.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use traditional and social media to further advocacy goals are desirable.


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