Human Rights Watch

Outline of the organisation

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the world’s leading independent, non-profit and nonpartisan organisations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Established in 1978, HRW is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, it gives voice to the oppressed and holds oppressors accountable for their crimes. Its rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For over 30 years, HRW has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.

Positions available

HRW offers academic internships at both the undergraduate and graduate level in its regional and thematic divisions, as well as its organisational support departments.

Undergraduate internships are primarily administrative in nature, but other projects can be assigned as they arise and match the student's interests and abilities, including research, drafting documents, translating, and helping researchers prepare for missions. Graduate-level interns monitor human rights developments in various countries, draft reports on human rights conditions, and engage in advocacy efforts aimed at curtailing human rights violations.

While internships are generally unpaid, students are often able to arrange academic credit, as HRW internships often offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organisation, close supervision by the HRW staff, interaction with other US and international organisations and foreign and domestic government officials, and opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, and special events relating to human rights.


Applicants should be well-organised, self-motivated and reliable, with a strong interest in international human rights. Relevant coursework is highly desirable. Knowledge of foreign languages is a plus. Computer skills (i.e. Microsoft Office, Internet applications) are required.

Application process

Internship opportunities are listed on HRW’s website. Applications typically require a letter of interest, a current CV, professional and/or academic references, and a writing sample.

Internships are advertised here.