Vacancy: Human Rights Watch – Nigeria Researcher (April 5 deadline)



Africa Division

(Abuja base preferred)

Application Deadline: April 5, 2013


Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a Nigeria Researcher with its Africa Division.  The Researcher, ideally based in Abuja, will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy agenda focusing on human rights conditions in Nigeria. The position reports to the West Africa team leader in the Africa division.




  1. Monitoring and documenting human rights abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including government, local media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), journalists, diplomats, security forces and others in the field;
  1. Conducting fact-finding missions in Nigeria;
  1. Writing and publicizing reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on the findings of one’s research;
  1. Developing and implementing local, regional, and international advocacy strategies to promote reform of abusive laws, policies, and practices in Nigeria and West Africa;
  1. Responding promptly to queries from various advocacy targets as well as the media, public, and civil society colleagues;
  1. Presenting human rights concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media;
  1. Working closely with colleague NGOs and local human rights organizations to engage in joint advocacy efforts and ensure that HRW’s work complements  their own work;
  1. Liaising effectively with HRW staff in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination   of activities;
  1. Traveling domestically and overseas for two or more weeks at a time, several times a year; and
  1. Carrying out any other duties as required.



Education:  An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, or social sciences is strongly preferred. 

Experience:  The candidate should have lived and worked in Nigeria, working on human rights issues country-wide for a minimum of 5 years. 

Location:  Ability to be based in Nigeria, either in Lagos or Abuja (preferred). 

Required Skills and Knowledge: 

  1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments in Nigeria in a detailed, timely, and professional manner. 
  1. Ability to develop and implement realistic and effective local and international advocacy strategies and to respond to emergency situations.
  1. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media and to use both the traditional media and new media to further advocacy goals.
  1. Knowledge of Nigerian legal system, as well as familiarity with international human rights law. Knowledge of the sub-regional body ECOWAS is highly desirable.
  1. Solid field research and documentation skills.
  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Proficiency in French is desirable.
  1. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically.
  1. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials, diplomats and external media partners.
  1. Ability to work quickly and effectively under pressure with a broad range of people and as part of a team.
  1. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with vision and mission of the organization.


Salary and Benefits:  HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.  HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Contact:  Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae,  a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references to Please use “Nigeria Researcher REF: AFR-13-1008-B” as the subject of your email. 

Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only qualified candidates will be contacted.

Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.


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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