Researcher, Central Asia

Human Rights Watch, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and CampaignResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th January, 2020

Job Description

Europe and Central Asia Division
Bishkek preferred
Application Deadline: January 24, 2020

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a Researcher to monitor human rights in Central Asia. A background working on human rights concerns in the Central Asia region is required. Oral and written communications skills in English and Russian are essential; knowledge of another Central Asian language is highly desirable. Experience living or working in the region is also preferred. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, well-organized, able to work quickly and well under pressure both independently and as a member of a team, and demonstrate a commitment to international human rights. This position will preferably be based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan but other locations may be considered. The Researcher reports to the Executive Director of the Europe and Central Asia (“ECA”) Division, based in Berlin.


  • Monitor and document human rights abuses in Central Asia by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including activists, governments, local media, NGOs, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others;
  • Conduct research and interview victims of human rights abuses and other relevant parties;
  • Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on the findings; collect supporting documents and materials such as photographs and videos;
  • Assist in the development and implementation of local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices in collaboration with HRW's New York, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, and Washington, D.C. offices;
  • Conduct advocacy with Central Asian governments, the governments of the European Union (E.U.) and the United States, as well as with multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.), and international financial institutions;
  • 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;
  • Work closely with colleague non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights organizations 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;
  • Travel domestically and overseas, as required, to conduct fact-finding missions and advocacy;
  • Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the ECA Division;
  • Operate in compliance with organizational core values, regulations, and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements;
  • Assist the Director of the Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department in conducting fundraising;
  • Establish clear work plans for yourself and any staff under your supervision, communicate priorities clearly and effectively, provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments; and
  • Carry out any other duties as required.


  • Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, ECA regional studies, journalism, law, or social sciences is preferred.
  • Experience: Minimum 3 years of relevant human rights experience, ideally in countries in Central Asia.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments in the area of specialty are required.
  • Ability to identify and advise the Director and other relevant colleagues in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities is required.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law is required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required.
  • Proficiency in Russian is required; proficiency in another language from the region is highly desirable.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations are required.
  • Ability to multi-task effectively including having good planning and organizational skills, and the ability to work under pressure are required.
  • Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals is highly desirable.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by January 24, 2020 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest, a resume or curriculum vitae, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references, preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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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