Associate, Arms at Human Rights Watch

Arms Division
Washington, DC Office Preferred
Application Deadline: May 23, 2021

The Arms Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking an Associate to provide administrative assistance to the team. The Arms Division works to advance humanitarian disarmament and enhance protections for civilians from various weapons that are indiscriminate and inflict unnecessary harm, such as cluster munitions, antipersonnel landmines, incendiary weapons. We promote the establishment and implementation of international treaties and are working to ban killer robots.

This is an entry-level opportunity for a young professional seeking experience in and exposure to the international human rights field. It is not a legal position.

This full-time position is preferably based in Washington, DC, but may be based in HRW’s New York office, and reports to the division’s Executive Director. Due to COVID-19 many of our global offices remained closed or at a limited capacity; we will decide to open (or close) offices based on our internal standards and local requirements. The Associate will continue to have the flexibility to work largely remotely for the foreseeable future. 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.

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely. 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. Providing day-to-day administrative support to Arms Division staff across different time zones, such as scheduling and convening online meetings, making travel arrangements, preparing for and taking minutes at meetings, maintaining digital file archives, processing incoming requests and inquiries, recording and processing departmental finances, and maintaining contact databases;
  2. Serving as a member of the editorial team for the annual Landmine Monitor and Cluster Munition Monitor reports, including drafting and sending correspondence to governments to solicit information; assisting research; drafting and editing country profiles; creating factsheets; and assisting with the report launches;
  3. Liaising with HRW’s domestic and international offices, and shepherding Arms Division publications through the internal review process;
  4. Working with partners such as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Cluster Munition Coalition, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and International Network on Explosive Weapons as well as with the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School. Tasks may include drafting correspondence, policy monitoring, tracking media coverage, and supporting activities undertaken with other civil society organizations, including in the United States;
  5. Preparing, drafting, editing, formatting, arranging translation, web publishing and distributing HRW documents such as press releases, reports, briefing papers, op eds, web content, tables and charts and other publications;
  6. Assisting with the recruitment and mentoring of interns;
  7. Carrying out other duties as required.


Education: A bachelor’s degree in international relations, human rights, or a related field is required.

Experience: A minimum of 1 year of relevant work experience is required. Relevant work experience may include working at another NGO/non-profit or performing similar administrative support work in any industry.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Prior office/administration experience is required.
  2. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required; fluency in French, Spanish, Russian, or Arabic is highly preferred.
  3. Strong interest in international human rights is required.
  4. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences, including external partners are required.
  5. The ability to work well under pressure and to manage multiple priorities while working effectively toward deadlines is required
  6. Strong problem solving and organizational skills with meticulous attention to detail are required.
  7. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
  8. Self-motivation and the ability to prioritize with minimal supervision and work independently as well as function as a member of a team with staff in multiple locations is required.
  9. Proficiency in computer packages including MS Office applications is required.

Other: Valid US work authorization is required for this role.

Salary and Benefits: Salary range starts at $48,622. Human Rights Watch offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, an outstanding retirement savings plan and twenty (20) days of vacation per year.

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.

How to apply

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by May 23, 2021, by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter, resume, 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 Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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