Researcher and Advocate on Children’s Rights in the Digital Age Children’s Rights Division

Application Deadline: July 19, 2019

The Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a highly qualified Researcher and Advocate to investigate, analyze, and advocate against children’s human rights abuses worldwide in the digital environment. The role of the Researcher and Advocate will include developing Human Rights Watch’s strategy on the topic, and carrying out that strategy by documenting, conveying, and seeking to address violations of children’s rights.

We welcome applications from people who have demonstrated familiarity with the impact of technology on potentially vulnerable communities, including those who have a background in journalism, law, social sciences, engineering or computer science.

The preferred location for this position is New York, London, Berlin, Washington, DC, or another major HRW office, such as Beirut, Johannesburg, Nairobi, or San Francisco.


Identify issues and advocacy opportunities around children’s rights in the digital sphere around the world. These may include: the tensions between online content regulations, protection of children, and children’s right to freedoms of expression and access to information; children’s rights to privacy and the threat posed by surveillance of children’s digital lives; or harm to children’s rights posed by automated decision-making. Develop a plan for strategic research and advocacy to ensure respect for these internationally recognized rights by public and private sector actors.

Research, document, and analyze policies and practices that raise human rights concerns for children by interviewing children whose rights have been harmed, as well as parents, professionals, and experts, and collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources, including governments, media, academia, NGOs, other victims of abuses, open- source information, technologists, and others.

Write and publicize reports, op-eds, press releases, briefing memos, statements, treaty-body submissions, testimony and other materials to disseminate our research findings and policy recommendations for preventing or ending abuses of children’s human rights. Work with colleagues in the communications division to develop innovative multimedia and social media strategies to communicate our positions in clear and compelling ways and to advance advocacy.

Develop and implement advocacy strategies in collaboration with HRW colleagues to change or prevent abusive government laws, policies, and practices, as well as abusive corporate policies and practices. Press companies and governments to ensure human rights protections are built into their products, services, and operations. Propose new laws or regulations to protect rights online, and articulate how existing human rights standards should apply to these technologies.

Build partnerships across key communities, including other human rights NGOs, groups working with children, tech industry leaders, and academics.

Project concerns about children’s human rights in the digital sphere into public debates internationally through clear and prompt responses to queries from policy makers, the media, social media, and colleague human rights communities. Place abuses or potential for abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts.

Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events.

Work collaboratively with an international team of researchers, media experts and advocates and collaborate with a supportive and diverse team.

Travel domestically and internationally, as required, to conduct research, media work and advocacy.

Carry out other tasks as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, data science, computer science, or related studies is preferable.

Experience: A minimum of three to five years of relevant experience is required and individuals with considerably more experience are also encouraged to apply.

Relevant experience may include, among other things, work as an investigative reporter or lawyer on issues related to children’s rights; freedom of expression; right to education; digital literacy; privacy rights; child protection from violence, sexual exploitation, and other harms; and business and human rights; research, writing, analysis, advocacy, or community organizing; analysis and advocacy for nonprofit organizations; or work in government on policies relating to children’s digital rights. We will consider applications from individuals with a demonstrated record of successful research, analysis, or advocacy, even in the absence of training in technology design or data science.

Related Skills and Knowledge: The below offers a list of the kinds of qualifications that we will be looking for when evaluating applications.

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required. Proficiency in other languages is highly desirable.
  1. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively and in a culturally sensitive manner with a range of vulnerable or marginalized groups, including children, in partnership with other organizations and others are required.
  2. Ability to explain verbally and in writing complex technical subjects clearly, compellingly and respectfully to non-specialist audiences, including policymakers, the public, and specialists in non-technical fields is required.
  3. Knowledge of and experience in international human rights law is required.
  4. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work well under pressure is required.

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.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest, resume or CV, and a brief writing sample (unedited by others), 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, 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.

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.