Senior Researcher and Advocate, Poverty and Inequality

Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 05

Position description

The Business and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a highly qualified Senior Researcher and Advocate on Poverty and Inequality to investigate, analyze, and advocate against human rights abuses worldwide related to extreme poverty and inequality. The role of the Researcher and Advocate will include documenting and conveying the human rights implications of extreme poverty and economic inequality worldwide, specifically focusing on the ways in which the policies and practices of public and private entities contribute to the systematic transfer of wealth and resources away from the public good and into the hands of a few. 

We welcome applications from people who have demonstrated familiarity with poverty and inequality research, including those who have a background in a field such as economics or social sciences.  

This position is preferably based in a major HRW office, but other locations may be considered. 



1. Research, document, and analyze policies and practices that contribute to extreme poverty and economic inequality that raise human rights concerns by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources, including governments, policy makers, media, NGOs and grassroots organizations, victims of abuses, and others; Interview persons whose rights have been harmed by extreme economic inequality, as well as related professionals and experts (e.g., organizations representing impacted communities, economists and social scientists who specialize in the impacts of economic inequality, multilateral development banks, etc.); Identify and document where extreme poverty and economic inequality may have disparate impact on vulnerable or marginalized groups;

2. Identify issues and advocacy opportunities for influencing policies and practices that contribute to worsening poverty and growing economic inequality; Develop a plan for strategic research and advocacy to ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights by public and private sector actors, including multilateral development banks; 

3. Write and publicize reports, op-eds, press releases, briefing memos, statements, testimony and other materials to disseminate our research findings and policy recommendations for addressing human rights abuses linked to extreme poverty and economic inequality; 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;

4. Develop and implement advocacy strategies in collaboration with HRW colleagues to change or prevent abusive laws, policies, and practices by governments, corporations, multilateral development banks, and others that drive extreme poverty and economic inequality;  

5. Build partnerships across key communities, including other human rights or economic justice NGOs, groups representing vulnerable populations, research organizations, and academics; Represent HRW in civil society coalitions on topics relevant to economic inequality, such as the role of multilateral development banks;

6. Participate in public debates internationally about growing poverty and economic inequality 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;

7. Travel domestically and internationally, as required, to conduct research, media work, advocacy, and other functions; 

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

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

10. Expand HRW’s work on poverty and inequality, mainstreaming it across the organization;

11. Occasionally assist the Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department to conduct fundraising; and

12. Carry out other tasks as required. 


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

Experience: A minimum of seven years of relevant experience is required. Relevant experience may include, among other things, work as a social scientist, economist, investigative reporter, or lawyer on issues related to the human rights impacts of extreme poverty and economic inequality; research, writing, analysis, advocacy, community organizing, or other work related to the impact of extreme poverty and economic inequality; analysis and advocacy for nonprofit organizations, particularly related to poverty or economic inequality; or work in government on policies to address the impacts and causes of extreme poverty and economic inequality. We will consider applications from individuals with a demonstrated record of successful research, analysis, or advocacy on behalf of marginalized or vulnerable groups living in extreme poverty or addressing abuses resulting from extreme economic inequality.  

Related Skills and Knowledge:  

The below offers a list of the kinds of qualifications that we will be looking for when evaluating applications. We do not expect applicants to have all the skills and knowledge described below. If you believe you currently have skills that are analogous and transferable rather than specific to poverty and inequality, please explain this in your letter of interest.


1. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required. Proficiency in other languages is highly desirable.

2. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively and in a culturally sensitive manner with a range of vulnerable or marginalized groups, in partnership with other organizations, and others regarding or impacted by poverty and inequality.

3. 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.

4. Knowledge of and experience in international human rights law.

5. Knowledge of and experience with economic policy and data analysis.

6. Knowledge of and experience working with directly impacted communities or organizing around economic justice issues. 

7. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work well under pressure.


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.

Application instructions

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