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US Program Intern

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

Multiple locations
Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2023

US Program Intern

Application Deadline: December 10, 2023

The US Program of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a current graduate or law student to intern beginning January 2024 through April 2024. A qualified candidate will have a strong interest and ideally some educational or work experience connected to advancing racial justice and equity in policies and practices connected to the criminal legal system, immigration/migration/border rights, and/or protecting a healthy democracy—priority issues for the US Program. Ideally, the intern will be available for 15-20 hours a week, starting in January 2024.

Interns may have the option of reporting to an HRW office on a voluntary basis where US Program staff also work in New York, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. Remote arrangements will remain an option for the foreseeable future.

Some Responsibilities and Opportunities to learn include:

  • Conducting desk research into laws, policies, and practices connected to the substantive work of the US Program, using complex research tools such as legal libraries, data bases, or information sharing platforms;
  • Conducting desk research into the historical context of issues;
  • Review media, policy papers, and academic reports;
  • Assisting in making freedom of information requests and tracking responses;
  • Monitoring legislation or US government policies;
  • Conducting data-analysis or creating databases;
  • Assisting in drafting or editing text to support the production of written research products including reports, press releases, dispatches, or op-eds;
  • Compiling case histories;
  • Presenting information in a compelling manner;
  • Attending meetings and taking notes;
  • Supporting advocacy activities, including supporting in outreach to advocacy targets;
  • Compiling press and social media lists;
  • Assembling and promoting social media posts; and
  • Assisting in developing talking points.

Other projects may be assigned as opportunities arise. Students may also have opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, professional development workshops, or special events relating to the issues the US Program works on, as well as connect with other HRW interns, volunteers, and staff. As an HRW intern, students are expected to take the knowledge and skills acquired in school and apply them in a professional setting.


  • Enrollment in a graduate or law school program for the duration of the internship term or for the fall 2023 semester.
  • Strong interest in advancing racial justice and equity, especially in US Program priority areas described above.
  • Well organized, self-motivated, and reliable with a demonstrated commitment to human rights and social justice.
  • Excellent computer skills (e.g., Microsoft Office, internet applications) and relevant research experience.
  • Knowledge of Spanish is a plus.

Applicants who are offered an internship must possess valid work authorization in the United States for the duration of the internship.

Compensation: Interns without external funding will receive $17 USD per hour. Human Rights Watch offers twenty (20) days of vacation prorated per year pursuant to the work schedule and length of employment. Students are often able to arrange academic credit, as HRW internships may offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by HRW staff, and interaction with other US and international organizations and foreign and domestic government officials. Students should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at: https://careers.hrw.org and attaching a CV/resume, letter of interest/cover letter, and a brief writing sample. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the large number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.

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.