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Iraq Researcher

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking applicants for the position of Iraq Researcher. The Researcher will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy strategy on Iraq. The Researcher will be based in one of HRW’s offices, preferably in the MENA region, London, Berlin, Brussels, or Amsterdam. The candidate should expect to spend extensive periods of time in Iraq for research and advocacy. The Iraq Researcher reports to the Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are operating in reduced capacities. 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 by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others in the field;
  2. Conduct fact-finding missions in Iraq and other MENA countries, as needed and if security permits;
  3. Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on research findings;
  4. Collaborate with colleagues in the multimedia team to produce videos and other visual materials that convey research findings and advocacy messages;
  5. Develop and implement local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices, in coordination with Iraqi civil society;
  6. Place abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present human rights and humanitarian law issues and concerns to government officials, armed groups (to the extent possible), key players in Iraq, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media to promote civilian protection and human rights reforms;
  7. Work closely with local and regional human rights and humanitarian organizations to ensure that the work of HRW regarding Iraq complements and enhances their own work;
  8. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
  9. Liaise effectively with relevant HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  10. Assist Divisional Directors and HRW’s Development Department in conducting fundraising;
  11. Travel domestically and internationally, as required, in order to carry out research and advocacy;
  12. Supervise a research assistant’s work, security, and personal and professional development, and manage coordination with other HRW staff supporting human rights research and advocacy work on Iraq; and
  13. Perform other duties as required.
Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, regional studies, journalism, law, history or social sciences, or equivalent work experience, is required.
Experience: A minimum of three years of experience working on human rights issues or humanitarian law, ideally in Iraq, is required.
Related Skills and Knowledge:
  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic are required and Kurdish language skills are required.
  2. Ability to identify, research, analyze, and effectively communicate important human rights developments in Iraq in a timely and sophisticated fashion is required.
  3. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses are required.
  4. Ability to identify and advise on strategies to conduct research and advocacy is required.
  5. Ability to efficiently distil information about Iraq so as to focus time and effort on issues of greatest importance or issues that are most capable of being influenced is required.
  6. Ability to produce excellent written material under tight deadlines is required.
  7. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and dynamic public speaking ability, are required.
  8. Strong interpersonal skills, to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with external partners, are required.
  9. Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations is required.
  10. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
  11. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work under pressure are required.
  12. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals is desirable.
  13. Ability to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent situations and to respond quickly is required.
  14. Ability to carry out security assessments and analysis in order to inform Human Rights Watch research opportunities is required.
  15. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international humanitarian law is required.
Salary and BenefitsHRW 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 authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by 15 February 2023 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest and CV/resume, preferably as PDF files. 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, or if you require a disability-related accommodation, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.
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 disability, 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.