Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a Research Assistant to assist in the monitoring and reporting of human rights violations in Lebanon and Syria. This position will report to the Beirut Office Director in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) Division.
1. Provide research and advocacy assistance and administrative support to Researchers and the Office Director based in Beirut;
2. Develop contacts with government officials and other local actors, including using pre-existing networks among local rights activists and organizations to expand HRW’s monitoring capabilities and access to information; facilitate meetings with NGOs, government officials, and individuals able to provide information regarding human rights abuses;
3. Assist the Office Director and Researcher in monitoring human rights conditions and documenting abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, and journalists; advise the Researcher on local media advocacy;
4. Assist the Office Director and Researcher in following up on specific cases of human rights violations, including prison visits and interviews with family members; assist in follow-up with authorities and with local UN representatives on strategic cases on which HRW is advocating for justice;
5. Under the guidance of the Office Director and Researcher, provide written analyses and write-ups of interviews, and, when appropriate, first drafts of briefing papers, letters, news releases, submissions to international bodies, etc.;
6. Assist the Office Director and Researcher in preparing reports for discussion with governmental officials, NGO, IGO and other external partners;
7. Be a full partner with the Office Director and Researcher in managing local logistical issues, such as finding drivers, fixers, translators;
8. Advise the Office Director and Researcher on security issues, particularly in regard to field missions, including by developing contacts in insecure areas who can provide timely and trustworthy advice on security conditions and precautions;
9. As appropriate, translate documents from English to Arabic and from Arabic to English and interpret for the Researcher during meetings and interviews;
10. Proofread translations of documents by other translators, for ensuring that all HRW documents in local languages are polished, accurate, and up to HRW standards;
11. Provide administrative support (scheduling internal and external meetings, taking minutes, formatting and disseminating press releases and other publications, project management, recruiting and coordinating interns), arrange press conferences, handle external communications (responding to inquiries from and corresponding with the public, media, NGOs), assist with event planning and perform clerical tasks (filing, photocopying, faxing, word processing, maintaining databases, contact lists and subscriptions, bulk mailings, report filing and tracking);
12. Travel to the field, including to insecure areas, with the Researcher and independently, to conduct research; travel internationally as appropriate to attend specific trainings or planning sessions;
13. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements; and
14. Perform other tasks, as may be required.
Education: A bachelor’s degree in international relations, law, journalism, social sciences or Middle Eastern studies is required.
Experience: Minimum two years of experience working in an office environment or assisting in field research is required.
Related Skills and Knowledge:
1. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
2. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with external partners are required.
3. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic are required.
4. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing skills.
5. A demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights issues.
6. Experience working in the not-for-profit sector is desirable.
Other: Applicants for this position must possess current work authorization in Lebanon.
Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers compensation and benefits consistent with local NGO salaries.
How to Apply
Contact: Please submit a cover letter, resume, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “Research Assistant Ref MENA-16-1015” as the subject of your email.
Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.