For recent graduates of law schools or graduate programs in journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, the international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization, invites applications for its fellowship program. Human Rights Watch is known for its impartial and reliable human rights reporting on over 70 countries worldwide, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in affecting the policy of the US and other influential governments toward human rights abusers.

Unrestricted Fellowships

Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship - Established in memory of Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg, early supporters of Human Rights Watch, this fellowship is open to graduates (at the Master’s level) in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, or other relevant studies. Other relevant disciplines may also be considered.

Restricted Fellowships

NYU School of Law Fellowship at HRW - This fellowship is open to J.D. graduates of New York University School of Law only.
Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship - Established in memory of Judge Leonard H. Sandler, a 1950 Columbia Law graduate with a lifelong commitment to civil rights and liberties, this fellowship is open to J.D. graduates of Columbia Law School only.
Aryeh Neier Fellowship - Created to honor the legacy of Aryeh Neier, this fellowship is open to recent law school graduates or applicants who will have graduated by June 2009. Please visit the following page for more details.

Fellows work full-time for one year with Human Rights Watch in New York, Washington, D.C., or London (Aryeh Neier fellows will work full-time, for an additional year, at the ACLU). Fellows monitor human rights developments in various countries, conduct on-site investigations, draft reports on human rights conditions, and engage in advocacy aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations. Past fellows have conducted research and advocacy on numerous different issues in countries all over the world. A few recent examples are: a project on the rights of Iraqi refugees in Syria and Lebanon; on violations of the rights of girls in juvenile custody in New York State; on corporal punishment of children in southern public schools in the US; on the rights of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and India; on abuses against Sri Lankan migrant domestic workers; and abuses committed in the context of the Naxal conflict in Chhattisgarh state, India.

Applicants must have exceptional analytic skills, an ability to write and speak clearly, and a commitment to work in the human rights field in the future. Proficiency in one language in addition to English is strongly desired. Familiarity with countries or regions where serious human rights violations occur is also valued. Depending on the fellowship for which they wish to apply, prospective fellows must be graduates of law, journalism, international relations, or other relevant studies, or must provide evidence of significant, comparable, relevant work experience (please see our Frequently Asked Questions section for the specific requirements of the various fellowships.
Fellowships begin in September 2009.

The salary for 2008-2009 fellows is $48,000, plus excellent employer-paid benefits. The salary for 2009-2010 is currently under review and may be increased.


Applicants are responsible for compiling complete application packets which must include the following:
cover letter
• résumé (curriculum vitae)
• two letters of recommendation
• at least one unedited, unpublished writing sample
• an official law or graduate school transcript (applicants in one-year graduate programs should supply an undergraduate transcript with a list of their graduate school courses)

Complete applications (including transcripts and recommendations) for 2009-2010 Fellowships must be received no later than October 3, 2008. Applications should be sent by e-mail, under single cover and as PDF files, to fellowship@hrw.org with the name of the fellowship you are applying for in the subject line.
Applicants must be available for interviews in New York from early November to mid-December 2008. Inquiries may be directed to the Fellowships hotline at (212) 290-4700 x312, or to fellowship@hrw.org. Please click here for more information.
Faxing Parts of Your Application
Applications must be submitted by e-mail, under a single cover and in PDF format. However, under truly extenuating circumstances and only with prior written approval from us, you may send in an application or part of an application by fax, by the deadline of October 3, 2008. Lateness of an application does not constitute extenuating circumstances. Faxed applications will not be accepted without prior written approval from Human Rights Watch.

The Bernstein Fellowships

The Bernstein Fellowships established in honor of Robert S. Bernstein, founding chair of Human Rights Watch, provide financial support to allow two Yale Law School graduates to pursue full-time international human rights work for one year. (Please note that the Bernstein Fellowships are administered through Yale Law School. Applications for the Bernstein Fellowships should not be sent to Human Rights Watch.)


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