Human Rights Watch: Zimbabwe / Southern Africa Researcher

Human Rights Watch
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Sunday, 16 September, 2012
Opportunity type: 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the world’s leading independent organisations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, the organisation gives voice to the oppressed and holds oppressors accountable for their crimes. Its rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For more than 30 years, HRW has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
HRW seeks to recruit a Researcher, based in Johannesburg with frequent visits to Zimbabwe and other locations, after a period of training in HRW’s New York office.
The candidate will monitor the human rights situation in Zimbabwe/Southern Africa. This position will report to the Deputy Director in the Africa Division.


  • Monitor, investigate, and document human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa by collecting and analysing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others in the field;
  • Write and publicise reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to national and international bodies on human rights concerns in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as needed in a concise and accurate manner, with a quick turnaround time;
  • Develop and implement local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa;
  • Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community;
  • 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;
  • Work closely with colleague non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local human rights organisations to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work;
  • Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  • Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events; 
  • Travel domestically and internationally, as required, to conduct fact-finding and advocacy missions;
  • Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Africa Division; and
  • Carry out any other duties as required.


  • An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, history or the social sciences is highly desirable. An undergraduate degree is required;
  • The ideal candidate will have at least three years of experience working on human rights issues in Southern Africa;
  • Firm knowledge of political dynamics in Zimbabwe or Southern Africa;
  •  Background in field-based human rights work in the region.
  • Ability to identify, research, analyse and effectively communicate important human rights developments in a timely and sophisticated fashion;
  • Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses;
  • Experience working in a politically sensitive environment;
  • Ability to efficiently distil information about Zimbabwe and Southern Africa so as to focus time and effort on issues of greatest importance or issues that are most capable of being influenced;
  • Ability to produce written material under tight deadlines;
  • Ability to identify and advise the Africa Division in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities;
  • Ability to respond quickly to crises and conflicts as they may occur, often under tight deadlines;
  • Oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials, African Union officials, UN officials, policymakers, media contacts, and others;
  • Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law;
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and a dynamic public speaking ability;
  • Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organising skills and ability to work under pressure; and
  • Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions.

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 authorisation, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
To apply, send a CV, salary requirements, motivational letter, a brief writing sample (unedited by others) and three references to Use ‘Zimbabwe/Southern Africa Researcher Ref AFR-12-1050-B’ in the subject of your e-mail. 
Only complete applications will be reviewed and only qualified candidates will be contacted.
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.
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