Researcher, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries At Human Rights Watch

Middle East and North Africa Division
Location: Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: April 20, 2021

The Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a Researcher to monitor the human rights situation in Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) countries. The Researcher will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy strategy on GCC countries, with a likely focus on migrant rights. The researcher preferably will be based in one of HRW’s offices (Beirut, Amman, Tunis, London, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, New York, or Washington DC), but other locations will be considered. This position will report to the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division.

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 in the interim. 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 in GCC countries, with a likely focus on migrant rights and especially migrant workers’ rights, by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others in the field;
  2. Conduct fact-finding missions in GCC countries, as needed and as security permits;
  3. Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to national and international bodies on human rights concerns in GCC countries as needed in a concise and accurate manner, with a quick turnaround time;
  4. Develop and implement local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices in GCC countries;
  5. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community;
  6. Place abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media;
  7. 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;
  8. Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  9. Assist the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department in conducting fundraising;
  10. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events;
  11. Travel in the region and internationally, as required, to carry out research and advocacy;
  12. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the MENA division; and
  13. Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, regional studies, journalism, law, or social sciences is required.

Experience: A minimum of three years of directly related experience working on human rights, in GCC countries or other parts of the Middle East and North Africa region is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments in a timely and sophisticated fashion.
  2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses .
  3. Willingness and skills to conduct research, including interviews, remotely, where access to the country is not an option.
  4. Ability to efficiently distill information about human rights in GCC countries, including migrant rights, so as to focus time and effort on issues of greatest importance or issues that are most capable of being influenced.
  5. Ability to produce excellent written material under tight deadlines.
  6. Ability to identify advocacy opportunities, as well as develop and implement advocacy strategies.
  7. Ability to respond quickly to crises and conflicts as they may occur.
  8. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Fluency in Arabic is desired, as is fluency in one or more of the languages that predominate among migrant labor communities in GCC countries, such as Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali, Nepali, Tagalog, and Malayalam.
  9. Strong interpersonal skills, to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials, and others.
  10. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and dynamic public speaking ability.
  11. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure.
  12. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions.
  13. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and social media to further advocacy goals is desirable.
  14. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law are preferred.

Other: Candidates must be willing to travel frequently and be prepared to spend extensive periods in the field.

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

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.

How to apply

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by April 20, 2021 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter and resume or CV. 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 [email protected] Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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