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- US Program Graduate Summer Intern, USA

US Program Graduate Summer Intern

Application Deadline: March 30, 2019

The US Program of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) is seeking a qualified current graduate-level student (J.D. candidate preferred) to intern in summer of 2019 in the Washington, DC office. Ideally, the candidate will be available beginning in May 2019 until August 2019. The student will intern closely with the US Program staff including the Executive Director, who oversees the work of the US Program, and the Advocacy Director, who analyzes and advocates against human rights abuses related to US criminal justice and immigration laws, policies, and practices.  

Internships are unpaid. However, students may be able to arrange academic credit, as Human Rights Watch internships often offer direct exposure to the workings of an international human rights organization, close supervision by HRW staff, interaction with other U.S. and international organizations and foreign and domestic government officials, and opportunities to attend lectures, trainings, and special events relating to human rights. Students should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.


The intern will learn about human rights issues within the US, especially those related to criminal justice and immigration policy. The internship will primary focus on bail and sentencing reform, criminalization of drug possession, and juveniles caught in the justice system. The intern will learn HRW’s research methodology and conduct desk research on issues such as US government abuses on the US-Mexico border and conditions of the immigration detention system.  The intern will also contribute to monitoring the press, compiling case histories, researching relevant state and federal policies, analyzing data, and drafting documents regarding human rights issues in the United States. Additional projects will be assigned as the opportunity arises.


The intern must be an enrolled graduate student for the duration of the internship term. Applicants should be well-organized, self-motivated, and reliable with a strong interest in US domestic human and civil rights, particularly related to criminal justice and immigration policy. Relevant coursework and prior experience conducting social science and/or legal research is highly desirable. Knowledge of Spanish is a plus. Computer skills (e.g., Microsoft Office, internet applications) are essential.

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 and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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 do not discriminate in hiring practices and actively seek a diverse applicant pool. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and those with criminal records to apply. 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 governments and international institutions.

Job posted on 20th December 2018
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