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HRF Human Trafficking Fellowship - Cuba Research Fellow and Saudi Arabia Research Fellow

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The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) believes that authoritarianism is one of the structural problems at the root of human trafficking. Trafficking is present in countries throughout the world. However, because of their higher levels of political competition and transparency, democratic states tend to be more likely to identify trafficking as a problem that needs to be addressed, and, thus, comply with international standards to prevent and prosecute trafficking. Authoritarian regimes, on the other hand, generally fail to put into place the legal mechanisms and institutions that can prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators. Despite the prevalence of this problem, international bodies and nongovernmental organizations have largely failed to examine the relationship between authoritarianism and human trafficking.

As an organization with a focus on closed societies, we believe that our resources are most needed and make a greater impact in countries under authoritarian rulers where independent media, activists, think tanks, opposition parties, and NGOs are under permanent threat— countries whose conditions exacerbate human trafficking and where human trafficking is in some cases sponsored or at least enabled by the state itself. Without rule of law, trafficking victims lack an avenue by which to challenge their abusers, and cannot count on the state to intervene to protect their rights. Authoritarian regimes generally prosecute fewer trafficking cases. In corrupt states, police and politicians can be bought off to intentionally ignore and profit from trafficking.

HRF is expanding its work in exposing the relationship between human trafficking and authoritarianism through a 3-year project with case studies on Cuba and Saudi Arabia. This project will consist of a wide array of activities, including research and investigative work, legal and advocacy work, and media campaigns.

HRF is hiring two research fellows to conduct research and writing for this project: a Cuba Research Fellow and a Saudi Arabia Research Fellow. 

Responsibilities

Cuba Research Fellow

The Cuba Research Fellow’s responsibilities, include, but are not limited to:

  • Partnering with Cuban civil society organizations in exile and independent journalists in Cuba to create a database of abuses and human trafficking victims of Cuba’s state-sponsored foreign medical missions;
  • Providing research and writing support for legal petitions, reports, op-eds, social media content, and media campaigns related to the human trafficking of Cuban healthcare professionals who have had their rights violated; and
  • Serving as a spokesperson for HRF on human trafficking in Cuba at events, conferences, and/or panel discussions, among other speaking opportunities.

Saudi Arabia Research Fellow

The Saudi Arabia Research Fellow’s responsibilities, include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with an established investigative journalist and providing research and writing support for legal petitions, reports, op-eds, and social media content related to the conditions of human trafficking in Saudi Arabia and the need for state accountability;
  • Working with individuals and NGOs working to call for an end to its Kafala system through a targeted media campaign, including (1) an awareness and public pressure campaign on relevant senators in the US to pass critical legislation to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian government to abolish the Kafala system and to punish perpetrators of human trafficking through accountability mechanisms such as targeted sanctions and (2) requesting that the US State Department document and recognize the cases of foreign citizens who are unable to exit Saudi Arabia as human trafficking cases; and
  • Serving as a spokesperson for HRF on human trafficking in Saudi Arabia at events, conferences, and/or panel discussions, among other speaking opportunities.

Requirements/Qualifications

  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-starter
  • Ability to work flexible hours, when required
  • Ability to travel to international conferences
  • Previous research and writing experience related to human trafficking, human rights, and/or authoritarianism is strongly preferred.
  • For the Cuba Research Fellow, an in-depth understanding of Cuba’s medical missions is highly preferred, and for the Saudi Arabia Research Fellow, an in-depth understanding of Saudi Arabia’s kafala system is highly preferred. 

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) believes that authoritarianism is one of the structural problems at the root of human trafficking. Trafficking is present in countries throughout the world. However, because of their higher levels of…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
    Contract
  • Start Date
    January 3, 2022
  • Application Deadline
    December 5, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required

Level of Language Proficiency

The Cuba Research Fellow must be proficient in Spanish and the Saudi Arabia Research Fellow must be proficient in Arabic.

The Cuba Research Fellow must be proficient in Spanish and the Saudi Arabia Research Fellow must be proficient in Arabic.

Location

Remote
Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
Empire State Building, Ste 4202, New York, NY 10118, United States

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