Richard Pearshouse is the director of Environment and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch.
From 2018 to 2022, Richard was Head of Crisis and the Environment at Amnesty International, where he oversaw a diverse and multi-disciplinary team implementing demanding environmental research, advocacy, and campaigns in crisis- and conflict-affected countries. In locations including Brazil, Iraq, Mozambique, Cambodia, and West Papua, he led innovative and impactful work protecting communities at risk in resource-driven conflicts and strengthening legal protections for the environment during armed conflicts.
From 2015-2017, he helped found HRW’s environment program and develop its main pillars of work: environmental defenders, toxic substances, and climate change. He has undertaken high-level advocacy on environmental issues with national governments, the UN, and multilateral and bilateral aid donors. His most recent field research has focused on threats against environmental defenders and their communties, and environmental health issues caused by exposure to toxic substances, including highly hazardous pesticides, arsenic, lead, mercury, and industrial chemicals. He has researched and written reports on countries including Brazil, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He has worked for non-governmental organisations in Canada, East Timor and Guatemala. He is a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.