Research Assistant, Italy

Human Rights Watch, Milan, Italy

Skill Required:, HR and Admin
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th November, 2019

Job Description

The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Research Assistant to assist in the monitoring and reporting of human rights violations in Italy. This is a nine-month fixed-term contract. The Research Assistant will preferably be based in Milan, but other locations in Italy or European cities where HRW has an office may be considered. The Research Assistant will report to the ECA Associate Director who is based in Milan.


  • Provide research and advocacy assistance and administrative support to the ECA Associate Director and other HRW researchers undertaking projects related to national and European Union migration and asylum policies, integration measures, or relating to human rights concerns in Italy;
  • Develop contacts with government officials and other local actors, including using pre-existing networks among local rights activists and organizations to expand HRW’s monitoring capabilities and access to information; facilitate meetings with NGOs, government officials, and individuals able to provide information regarding human rights abuses;
  • Assist the ECA Associate Director in monitoring human rights conditions and documenting abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, and journalists; advise on local media advocacy;
  • Assist the ECA Associate Director in following up on specific cases of human rights violations and assist in follow-up with national and European Union authorities in relation to our findings and recommendations;
  • Under the guidance of the ECA Associate Director, provide written analyses and write-ups of interviews, and, when appropriate, first drafts of briefing papers, letters to Italian authorities, news releases, submissions to international bodies, etc.;
  • Assist the ECA Associate Director in preparing reports for discussion with governmental officials, NGO, IGO and other external partners;
  • Manage local logistical issues, in conjunction with the ECA Associate Director, such as finding drivers, fixers, translators;
  • Translate documents from English to Italian and from Italian to English, and interpret for the ECA Associate Director during meetings and interviews as appropriate;
  • Proofread translations of documents by other translators, for ensuring that all HRW documents in Italian are polished, accurate, and up to HRW standards;
  • Travel to the field, including to insecure areas, with the ECA Associate Director and independently, to conduct research; travel internationally as appropriate to attend specific trainings or planning sessions; and
  • Perform other tasks, as may be required.


  • Education: A university degree in international relations, law, journalism, social sciences or studies relating to Italy and/or the European Union relevant to the function is required.
  • Experience: A minimum of one (1) year of experience working in an office environment or assisting in field research is required. Experience conducting research on migration issues and the rights of people on the move is strongly preferred. Migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, with relevant work experience are encouraged to apply.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills, and ability to work under pressure are required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with staff and partners from diverse backgrounds in a positive, collaborative, and inclusive team environment is required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Italian are required; ability to speak other languages is desirable.
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.
  • Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
  • Experience conducting field research, including conducting interviews, and drafting reports is highly desirable.

Other: Applicants for this position must possess current European Union work authorization.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by November 6, 2019 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample in English, 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.

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.

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