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Human Rights Worker

What They Do

Insider Info

Human rights workers help in many different areas. They can work to promote women's rights, promote human rights in developing countries and establish rights in wartorn countries. They may be involved in alleviating poverty. Or they could be working to free political prisoners, end political killings or abolish the death penalty and torture.

If a human is being unjustly treated in any way, a human rights worker could be involved. This can also include solving employment issues when discrimination based on things like gender is evident.

Human rights workers can hold many different jobs. They might be human rights advisors working to create positive relationships between two conflicting peoples. They could be human rights specialists working with UN agencies and training officers.

Some work in the legal and administrative fields. Some are involved in research at the university level or as assistant researchers. Still others may work in the medical field as doctors and nurses, or as helpers. The field is broad. Many areas of expertise can be brought to the career.

Because the types of jobs are so broad, the working environment and employers also vary. Many human rights workers are employed by human rights organizations such as the UN, Amnesty International and the Red Cross. Others are employed by government agencies, universities and private companies.

The workday for a human rights worker can vary. In the field, workers may be required to work long, exhausting hours to help people cope.

Physical requirements can vary greatly. Some people need to be fit and mobile to work in the field. They have to cope with rapidly changing situations. Others may be able to work as administrators or in management positions in offices that require less physical movement.

At a Glance

Help make people's lives better

  • You could do research at a university or work in the legal and administrative fields
  • In the field, workers may be required to work long, exhausting hours to help people cope
  • Workers often begin with a BA and then specialize in areas such as law or sociology