Research Fellow

Karen Human Rights Group

The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) is a grassroots, locally led human rights organization established in Karen State in 1992 and now operating across two states and two divisions in southeast Burma/Myanmar. KHRG works with villagers in rural Burma/Myanmar to strengthen their ability to claim their human rights documents their human rights situation and conducts local and international advocacy. With thirty years of experience, KHRG has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2013, KHRG was the recipient of the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award. More information about us and our work is available online at www.khrg.org

The Karen Human Rights Group is looking for a Research Fellow for a six-month period. We expect the candidate to start working in 1st August 2022.This position is based in Thailand. Candidates are expected to come to Thailand to work from KHRG’s office.

The Research Fellow will support KHRG’s Information Processing and Report-writing Team, which processes human rights documentation received from the field in Myanmar. At the moment, KHRG is receiving reports on the following human rights issues: militarisation, clashes between armed groups and indiscriminate attacks against civilians; conflict-related displacement; opposition to the coup, including protests and the civil disobedience movement; COVID-19; torture; forced labour; landmines; sexual and gender-based violence; access to healthcare and education.

The Research Fellow will have the opportunity to develop research and advocacy skills by assisting with our human rights reporting work.

A willingness to be guided by locally defined perspectives and priorities at all times is essential in this position. KHRG operates on a consensus basis and places a strong emphasis on teamwork. Applicants with an interest in expanding their understanding of human rights issues in Burma/Myanmar, especially those interested in challenging traditional conceptions of human rights, should find the position particularly attractive.

Research Fellow Responsibilities:

  1. Support the Information Processing and Report-writing Team (IPRT) as they process human rights documentation from the field and use it to produce English-language human rights reports, by:
  • Editing translated documents and human rights reports;
  • Assisting in the development of report-writing teaching materials;
  • Supporting the on-going systematisation and standardisation of KHRG’s reporting processes;
  • Giving feedback and working with local staff, both in groups and one-on-one, to build their capacity (English language proficiency, research and report writing skills). The Research Fellow will be responsible for conducting a minimum of two capacity-building workshops based on the needs identified by local staff.
  • Assisting the IPRT with other duties as needed.
  1. Support the IPRT and Advocacy teams by:
  • Conducting research into national and international legal issues, access to justice and the rule of law, and national public institutions related to human rights in Burma/Myanmar;
  • Writing chapters of our commentary, thematic and regional human rights reports;
  • Compiling KHRG reports for thematic submissions to external agencies;
  • Drafting and editing policy and advocacy briefs and supporting local staff in advocating with civil society partners, donors and authorities in Burma/Myanmar, as required.

Essential knowledge, skills and abilities

  1. Native English language speaker or equivalent proficiency.
  2. Excellent writing and editing skills.
  3. Strong cross-cultural communication skills and a sense of humour.
  4. Knowledge of international human rights standards, mechanisms and practices.
  5. A positive attitude, patience, and a willingness to be flexible.
  6. Ability to take initiative and to use problem-solving skills.
  7. Teaching and capacity building skills.
  8. Self-motivation, self-discipline, attention to detail and time-management skills, as well as the ability to function under pressure.

Desirable knowledge, skills and abilities

  1. Knowledge of the human rights situation in Burma/Myanmar.
  2. Experience writing human rights reports or advocacy materials.
  3. Some knowledge of Karen, Burmese and/or Thai language.
  4. Experience processing and analysing information using a database.

KHRG will help the selected candidate lacking prior knowledge of the situation in Burma/Myanmar to develop their understanding of the local context by providing them with a list of reading materials on the history, culture, politics and human rights.

Salary and support

The Research Fellow will receive a monthly stipend to cover basic living expenses. KHRG will also cover visa costs during the period of work, local transportation, as well as the cost of accommodation for the first seven days after arrival in the job location.

The Research Fellow will benefit from an initial orientation, as well as a pre-arrival guide that includes information to assist the Research Fellow in obtaining a visa, travelling within Thailand, and finding accommodation.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to the struggle for human rights in Burma/Myanmar.

How to apply

Applications should include a cover letter (max one page) stating why the applicant is interested in the position and their relevant experience, along with a detailed CV (max two pages) with at least two references and their contact information and a relevant writing sample (unedited). Referees will not be contacted without notifying the applicant in advance. Please send applications to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Application for Research Fellow 2022’. No calls or email inquiries, please. If you experience technical difficulties with your application submission, please email [email protected]

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted to answer preliminary questions and considered for interview.