Researcher, Iraq

Human Rights Watch, To Be Determined, Lebanon

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and CampaignResearch and Analysis
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th February, 2020

Job Description

Middle East and North Africa Division
(Beirut or Amman preferred)
Application Deadline: 17 February 2020

The Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Iraq Researcher. The Researcher will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy strategy on Iraq, and possibly an additional MENA country. Ideally, the position will be based in HRW’s Beirut or Amman office but other locations will be considered. The candidate should expect to spend extensive periods of time in Iraq. The Iraq Researcher reports to the Deputy Middle East and North Africa director.


  • 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 fact-finding missions in Iraq and other MENA countries, as needed and if security permits;
  • Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on research findings;
  • Develop and implement local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices, in coordination with Iraqi civil society;
  • Present human rights and humanitarian law issues and concerns to government officials, armed groups (to the extent possible), key players in Iraq, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media to promote civilian protection and human rights reforms;
  • Work closely with local and regional human rights and humanitarian organizations to ensure that the work of HRW regarding Iraq complements and enhances their own work;
  • Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
  • Liaise effectively with relevant HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  • Travel domestically and internationally, as required, in order to carry out research and advocacy;
  • Supervise a research assistant’s work, security, and personal and professional development, and manage coordination with other HRW staff supporting human rights research and advocacy work on Iraq.
  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, history or social sciences is required.
  • Experience: A minimum of three years of experience working on human rights issues or humanitarian law, ideally in the Middle East and/or North Africa, is required.

Required Skills and Knowledge:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English; Arabic language skills strongly preferred and Kurdish language skills desirable.
  • Ability to identify, research, analyze, and effectively communicate important human rights developments in Iraq.
  • Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses.
  • Ability to identify and advise on strategies to conduct research and advocacy.
  • Ability to produce high-quality written material under tight deadlines.
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent editing skills, and dynamic public speaking skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Strong management skills, including managing more junior research staff working on Iraq research and managing coordination of colleagues supporting Iraq research and advocacy. Management skills should also include incorporating stress and resilience techniques into your own work activities and those colleagues under researcher’s supervision.
  • Ability to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further goals.
  • Ability to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent situations.
  • Ability to carry out security assessments and analysis in order to inform Human Rights Watch research opportunities
  • Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international humanitarian law.

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 17 February 17 2020 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest, CV/resume, and a brief unedited writing sample, preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email 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 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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