Over the course of the past century, the world has witnessed an unprecedented effort between nations to recognize and facilitate a fundamental standard of human rights around the world. However while the blueprint for a more peaceful global order is in place, there remains much work to be done. Finding work abroad in human rights can be a big difference maker at the local level, giving you the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience while contributing meaningfully to the lives of the citizens you serve.
Why Work Abroad
The preamble of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by stating that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This founding principle transcends national boundaries to outline the globally-coordinated effort required to ensure that human rights continue to be recognized everywhere. Working a human rights job abroad is a big first step to becoming an active and productive world citizen in the 21st century.
Human rights remains a universal ideal to be strived for; to one degree or another, violations of these rights continue to affect every country in the world. While deciding on where to look for a human rights job abroad then, you should take into account factors such as the opportunities for global workers in the area, the language and culture of the country you will be working in, and the local severity and type of ongoing human rights crises.
Large and influential countries which are in the process of development, such as India or China for example, are popular places to begin looking for work abroad in human rights. While the languages and cultures of these countries are very different from the Western world, challenging yourself to assimilate while helping local projects build a strong human rights platform can be an incredible growth experience.
In the advanced economies of the industrialized world too, human rights violations stemming from inequality and oppression also continue to demand the devoted effort of international workers. Looking for a human rights job abroad in countries such as Australia, England, or the United States may not offer the same sort of cultural and linguistic challenges as beyond the West, but these places are no less important to the battle for human rights.
Jobs & Positions
Human rights work abroad takes on all different forms and functions, depending on your personal qualifications and prior professional experience. Entry level positions can be found doing everything from administrative work to assisting in research to raising awareness through grassroots campaigns, for example. Much of this work takes place on the ground working abroad within local communities, while an equally important part takes place behind the scenes in an office setting.
Beyond entry level positions, more advanced jobs abroad in human rights can also be found in areas such as law, management, and consulting. Many of these higher-level positions require a substantial record of prior professional experience in the area of human rights, as well as an advanced degree in a related field.
Around the world, you can find work abroad in human rights for every type of employer ranging from nonprofits and NGOs to private corporations and intergovernmental organizations. Assuring that human rights are met all around the world requires an immense degree of coordination between all these multinational players. From fundraising to development strategies to the on-the-ground implementation of projects, human rights work abroad takes place across many different verticals.
Benefits & Challenges
Global Challenge. Every country faces their own unique sets of human rights challenges, depending on development and the forces of history. If we are to successfully create a baseline of acceptable conditions, then we must work together across national borders.
Firsthand Experience. Learning about human rights violations taking place around the world is important to staying aware, but travelling to work abroad in human rights firsthand will instill in you an entirely new inspiration to commit to the movement.
Direct Impact. Most importantly of all, getting a human rights job abroad is the opportunity to directly affect change. In the battle for global justice, human rights professionals are on the front line.
Finding a job abroad in human rights can be an incredible opportunity to travel the world and help make an impact on the shaping of our 21st century. There is much work to be done; all you have to do is make the decision to go!