Human Rights Watch Advisory Committees were designed to provide the programmatic divisions at Human Rights Watch with substantive and policy advice. They are also used to deepen the engagement of key members of the HRW community in the organization’s programmatic work. Advisory Committees have played an important role in recruiting members of staff and tying Human Rights Watch to the broader activist and academic community concerned with human rights.
As Human Rights Watch engages in more multi-polar advocacy and takes on more complicated rights issues, our program staff rely on the advice of policy experts and NGO partners, both global and local. Advisory Committees help us identify and conceptualize emerging human rights issues. They ensure that we are thinking analytically and progressively about the most important political and economic trends. Advisory Committee members sharpen our advocacy and connect us to key decision-makers, journalists, government officials, and human rights activists. Finally, they disseminate our reports and statements to the media and other relevant outlets, such as conferences and universities.
Human Rights Watch Advisory Committees comprise people who have deep and broad experience in political, economic, and social affairs, broadly speaking, as well as in human rights, more specifically. Committee members usually represent the fields of law, journalism, social activism, public health, academia, or other professions related to human rights. They advance human rights principles and practices in their own work. They elicit great respect in their fields and communities and have good contacts with donors, journalists, and/or policymakers at national, regional and/or international levels.