Assistant Researcher, Disability Rights

Posted by
Human Rights Watch
Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Published 22 days ago



Disability Rights Division

Multiple Locations Considered

Application Deadline: May 16, 2021

The Disability Rights Division (“DRD”) of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Assistant Researcher. This position will be responsible for supporting our research, advocacy, multimedia and social media strategies on documenting and showcasing good practices related to the rights of persons with disabilities. The position will report to the Director of the Disability Rights Division, and will preferably be based in Brussels, New York, or Toronto, with other locations considered. 

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely initially or if local requirements mandate it. 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 good practices on the implementation of disability rights by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including persons with disabilities, NGOs (particularly organizations of persons with disabilities), governments, local media, journalists, diplomats, and others in the field; 

2. Assist in identifying, conceptualizing and executing the documentation and advocacy strategies of good practices projects; 

3. Draft timely and accurate news releases, op-eds, and other documents to accompany each good practice project; 

4. Serve as an effective liaison between research, advocacy and communications staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities; 

5. Research relevant advocacy targets (including UN bodies and special procedures, international and bilateral donors, regional and national human rights mechanisms, and the media);

6. Support implementation of advocacy strategies to advance HRW’s key findings and recommendations, including by drafting toolkits, advocacy letters, coordinating with partners, following up with key advocacy targets and preparing talking points and presentations; 

7. Support social media outreach on different platforms and help expand our presence on social media by working collaboratively with disability rights activists and organizations;

8. Support colleagues in responding promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights and disability rights community;

9. Work collaboratively with local, regional and international organizations of persons with disabilities to ensure that HRW’s work on disability rights complements and enhances their own work; and

10. Perform other duties as required.


Education: A bachelor’s level degree in international relations, journalism, law, media innovation or social sciences is required. 

Experience: A minimum of three years of experience working on human rights issues, particularly disability rights, is required. Relevant experience may include, among other things, work as an investigative reporter or assisting in field research; research and advocacy for nonprofit organizations; or work in government and international organizations on policies relating to human rights.  

Required Skills and Experience: 

1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments that pertain to disability rights is required.

2. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and strong writing and editing skills are all required. 

3. Ability to produce high-quality written material under tight deadlines is required.

4. Experience in writing different materials for a variety of audiences is required.

5. Ability to work independently and multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills, is required. 

6. Experience developing and carrying out advocacy strategies is required.

7. Excellent oral and written communication skills across social media platforms in English and the ability to synthesize content for popular audiences is required; other language skills are desirable.

8. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with people with diverse disabilities is required. 

9. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with local and international partners and governments officials is required.

10. Ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further goals is required.

11. Experience working for an international human rights organization 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. 

Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions of this position.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by May 16, 2021 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 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.



Disability Rights Division

Multiple Locations Considered

Application Deadline: May 16, 2021

The Disability Rights Division (“DRD”) of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Application Deadline
    May 16, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level
    Entry level


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Associated Location
Brussels, Belgium

How to Apply

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