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Researcher on Racism at Human Rights Watch

Europe and Central Asia Division
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: 10 April 2022

The Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch is seeking a researcher on racism and discrimination in Europe, covering the European Union and the United Kingdom. This is a three-year fixed term full-time position with the possibility of extension dependent on funding.

The Researcher will carry out research, communications, and advocacy work on the human rights implications of racism and discrimination based on racial, ethnic or religious identity in the European Union and the United Kingdom. Areas of research are likely to include violence, hatred, intolerance and discrimination against people who identify or are perceived as Black, Asian, Jewish, Muslim and Roma people, as well as racism and xenophobia against migrants. The researcher will examine contemporary structural and institutional impediments to the enjoyment of full human rights for such people while taking into account legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and other relevant historical context.

The researcher will have a significant focus on France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and will be expected to help the existing four-person research team covering the EU and UK with some general human rights monitoring in one or more countries.

The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) division is part of Human Rights Watch’s Program Department and works to advance human rights throughout the region. The ECA team of 26 staff conduct a wide range of work, including investigation, report writing, advocacy, multimedia, social media and other media work. This position reports to the Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division, based in London, and will be based in the European Union or the United Kingdom – preferably in a location where Human Rights Watch has an office (Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or Stockholm).

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely as local mandates necessitate. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


1. Research, monitor and document human rights abuses relating to racism and discrimination in European Union and United Kingdom by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments and public officials, local media, civil society organizations, victims and survivors, witnesses, journalists and others; assist with general human rights monitoring in one or more countries in the European Union and/or United Kingdom.
2. 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;
3. Develop recommendations for rights improvements in the region; devise and implement local, regional, and international advocacy strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
4. Follow and share key developments in international and European human rights and criminal law on racism and discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, race and religion.
5. Respond promptly to queries from the media, the public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
6. Place abuses within their broader political, social, economic and historical contexts and present human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media;
7. Work collaboratively with international and national and grassroots civil society organizations, including human rights, anti-racism and anti-discrimination groups to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work, and actively explore partnerships;
8. Assist the ECA Division and HRW’s Development and Global Initiatives Department in conducting fundraising;
9. Liaise and collaborate effectively with HRW staff located in Europe and around the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
10. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events;
11. Travel domestically and overseas, as required, to conduct fact-finding investigations;
12. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the ECA division and wider Program Department; and
13. Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: A bachelor’s level degree in international relations, journalism, law, history or social sciences or equivalent experience is preferred.

Experience: A minimum of three years of relevant experience working in research or human rights issues is required.

Required Skills and Knowledge:

1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments on racism and discrimination in Europe is required.
2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims, survivors and witnesses are required.
3. Ability to build and sustain partnerships with human rights, community and anti-racism organizations on shared goals and objectives is required. Experience working in grassroots or community-based activism is a plus.
4. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international and European human rights law is required, particularly as it relates to racism and discrimination. Knowledge of EU law is desirable.
5. Knowledge and experience of addressing racism and other discrimination in Europe.
6. Ability to identify and advise the ECA division and others working on Europe at Human Rights Watch in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities is required.
7. 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 desirable.
8. Ability to maintain contacts and meet with officials and experts addressing racism and discrimination in Europe and in countries covered by the research.
9. Strong oral and written communication skills in English are required, including the ability to write accurate, persuasive, well-organized, analytical, and timely documents. Proficiency in German, French and/or another European languages or languages of communities affected by racism and discrimination in Europe are strongly desirable. Candidates who are not native English speakers are strongly encouraged to apply.
10. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.
11. Strong interpersonal skills needed in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
12. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
13. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.

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 10 April 2022 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest and a CV/resume 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, or if you require a disability-related accommodation, 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 disability, 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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