Human Rights Officer Job Description


Employed by a variety of nonprofit and government-sponsored organizations such as the United Nations and Amnesty International, a human rights officer serves as an ambassador for an organization, working to identify and address instances of human rights violations in various regions of the world. According to the jobs website Indeed, their annual salary averaged $57,000 in 2014.

Working Abroad

  • Though this varies based on the structure of an organization, a human rights officer is typically dispatched to work in a specific region or country. Once in the field, she works under the direct supervision of a local authority, who may be either a representative of the organization or the local government. This individual directs and manages the officer in the performance of her tasks.

Developing Action Plan

  • Once deployed to a region, a human rights officer works in tandem with her local colleagues to develop a plan of action. This spells out a variety of initiatives including the identification of potential partners, the development and curriculum of training plans, as well as the policies and procedures surrounding reporting.

Monitoring Activities

  • The primary responsibility of a human rights officer is to monitor all activities related to human rights within the region. The purpose of this exercise is to identify any current or potential violations of individual human rights. These activities are then reported to the management of the organization.

Training Residents

  • To reduce or even eliminate human rights violations in a region, human rights officers partner with local government agencies and social service organizations. They provide education and training to residents and businesses in the region regarding a variety of human rights topics, such as human trafficking and inappropriate use of child labor.

Relationship Building

  • A human rights officer must work diligently to build and maintain relationships with individuals, businesses and government agencies throughout the region. The purpose of these partnerships is to foster local involvement in the eradication of human rights violations within the area.

Multilingual and Post-Grad Educaiton Preferred

  • To become a human rights officer, a candidate must typically possess a graduate-level degree. Common areas of study include political science, law and international relations. Prior to becoming an officer, applicants typically perform entry-level work in the field. Additionally, many of these positions require officers to work in multiple foreign countries. As such, the ability to communicate in more than one language is often preferred.

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