Bureau Members

 

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Hina Jilani
Chairperson

Hina Jilani is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a human rights activist. She founded the first women’s law firm in Pakistan in 1980 and Pakistan’s first legal aid center in 1986. Ms. Jilani is also one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum.

Ms. Jilani is also affiliated with the United Nations Center for Human Rights, the Carter Center, and the UN Conference on Women. From 2000 to 2008, she was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders. In 2006, she was appointed to the UN International Fact-Finding Commission on Darfur, Sudan and in 2009 she was appointed to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. She is also a member of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights and a patron of the Media Legal Defence Initiative. She has been a member of The Elders, a group of independent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela, since 2013.

She has received several national and international awards, including the UNIFEM 2001 Millennium Peace Award for Women and was the 2008 recipient of the Editor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by The Lawyer Awards. 


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Dr. Nimalka Fernando
Co-Chairperson

Dr. Nimalka Fernando is an attorney-at-law and a women’s rights activist, from Sri Lanka. She is a presently the Chairperson of the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination (IMADR), an INGO with  consultative status(Special) with UN-ECOSOC , and is the Director, Women’s Political Academy-Sri Lanka.  She was Regional Co-ordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Malaysia from 1989 – 1994 and was Programme Director for the Women’s Human Rights Project (1994 -1996).

Dr. Fernando has served as a member of the governing councils in several regional and international human rights organisations such as South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), Asia Regional Exchange for New Alternatives( 1997 – 2006), and South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication ( 2008 – 2011).

She has also served  as consultant for UNIFEM – Gender Budget Programme(Sri Lanka) and represented IMADR facilitating the USAid/UNODC assisted South Asia Regional Equity Programme(SARI-Q) focusing on Migrant’ Rights-Anti Trafficking Project for South Asia  (2000 – 2004). She was elected to be in the international NGO steering committee of the World Conference against Racism held in Durban 2000 where issues of trafficking and migration became strongly included in the Durban Action Plan. She has participated, representing Sri Lanka and IMADR, in several UN Conferences including Beijing Women’s Conference (1995) Human Rights (1995) Racism (2000). She is also a convenor of the Platform for Freedom and a Committee Member of Mothers and Daughters of Lanka. She has wide experience being a human rights defender’s trainer and resource person for women’s empowerment.


Prof. Sarwar Mamound
Afghanistan

Sarwar Mamound has been involved in human rights activities in Afghanistan since 1996.

As an activist he has been involved in the establishment of the Afghan Peace and Democracy Act (APDA) as a network of Afghan civil society organizations working for the promotion of a democratic and peace culture in the Afghan society thus provides grounds for the promotion of human rights. He has also organized and moderated several seminars, conferences and workshops for the propagation of basic human rights to bring together the human rights activists and human rights advocates for the promotion of human rights in Afghanistan.

He has also been the Editor-in-Chief of the Afghan Peace Act Journal since 2003 which helps to raise awareness among the people of their basic human rights. He has also been involved in advocacy for women and child rights in Afghanistan through the Afghan mass media.

Sarwar continues to write articles for the Afghan print outlets highlighting important human rights issues. He has also been an advocate for the implementation of the new Afghan Law which prevents violence against Afghan women.


Kushi Kabir
Khushi Kabir
Bangladesh

Khushi Kabir is the Chairperson of the Association of Land Reform and Development (ALRD) and a Founder Trustee of the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Bangladesh. She is a member of t he Human Development Foundation, a Core Group member of SANGAT, the current Chair of Panos South Asia and the chairperson of the Asia Solidarity against Industrial Aquaculture (ASIA). She is currently the coordinator of Nijera Kori, Bangladesh, a position she has held since 1980, where she works directly with landless peasants, both women and men, and other marginalised and excluded communities, through organising and mobilising them to assert and access their rights.  She is also a secular, strong feminist.

Asif Nazrul
Dr. Asif Nazrul
Bangladesh

Professor Asif Nazrul (also known as Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam) is a Professor of Law of the University of Dhaka. He is renowned as a researcher, columnist and civil society activist in Bangladesh. He is a member of the International Law Association and Executive member of various international and national organisations. 

Dr. Nazrul did his PhD in international law from School of Oriental and African Studies of University of London before working as a Research Fellow in London and Bonn. He also worked as Consultant to European Union Delegation, UNDP, ADB, DANIDA, SIDA, TIB, IUCN and other organizations on issues of good governance, access to justice, human rights, prevention of corruption and natural resource management. He has published a number of papers in leading research journals and served as facilitator, speaker and panelist in various conferences, seminars and workshops held in USA, Europe and South Asia.

Sultana Kamal
Sultana Kamal
Bangladesh

Executive Director of Ain O Salish Kendra, Lawyer and human rights activist. She was appointed as an advisor to the caretaker government in October 2006 from which she resigned with 3 other colleagues in December the same year. She was active in Kachi Kanchar Mela, Sangskriti Sangsad, Struggles for Cultural Autonomy and the ’69 mass upheaval as well as other social activism.


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Vrinda Grover
India

A Delhi-based human rights lawyer, researcher and activist, Vrinda Grover was the former director of Multiple Action Research Group (MARG). Her areas of research and writing include a critical examination of the role of law in the subordination of women issues of impunity and state accountability for human rights violations. She is presently engaged in the drafting of a law to secure accountability for communal violence.

Jatin Desai
India

Jatin Desai is an activist and journalist, and is the national joint secretary of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy. He is also a Research Associate with Focus on the Global South, a policy research organization. Mr. Desai was also President of the Bombay Union of Journalists (BUJ) and he has worked with various organizations on the issues of communal amity and peace and nuclear disarmament.

D J Ravindran
D. J. Ravindran
India

Has more than 25 years of experience in working for human rights at local, regional and international level. He has worked with International Commission for Jurists for 8 years and was instrumental in the establishment of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development. He has worked as Director of Human Rights Division with the UN mission in East Timor, Libya and the Sudan.


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Mohamad Latheef
Maldives

For more than three decades Mohamed Latheef has worked to transform the Maldives from a feudalistic to a more inclusive, democratic and citizen oriented society. Towards this end, he has worked in different capacities such as, as an independent journalist, human rights activist, parliamentarian and civil society activist.

As Vice President of the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as one of the founders and Secretary General of Maldives Associate of Tourism Industry, he also worked for the rights of the business community. He also encouraged and assisted the workers in the tourism and fisheries sector to collectively work for their rights.

He was jailed several times for his efforts for reform. In 2003, Latheef went into exile and started the freedom movement. With strong support from the international community – including international and regional NGOs and media – the movement succeeded in forcing President Gayoom to register political parties and to hold the first free, fair and democratic election in 2008. The election was won by the Maldivian Democratic Party which was founded by Latheef and Mohamed Nasheed who was elected as President. After the election, Latheef took a back seat but continued to promote democratic rights in his capacity as Ambassador for Human Rights and as Adviser to President Nasheed. 

Latheef continues to encourage institutions and civil society organisations to work  towards a more inclusive, democratic and participatory social, political and economic structure in the Maldives. 


dineshtripathi
Dinesh Tripathi
Nepal

Mr. Tripathi is an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Nepal and has been a human rights lawyer for more than 15 years. As a lawyer, he has conducted countless cases in the Supreme Court, as well as delivered lectures and paper presentations in various national, regional and international seminars, conferences, forums and workshops regarding human rights, peace and non-violent conflict resolution, democratization and the rule of law. He is also a regular contributor in various national newspapers and journals. Mr. Tripathi has been an active participant in the struggle towards democracy in Nepal, utilizing the rule of law to affect change, particularly since the royal coup in February of 2005.


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Zohra Yusuf
Pakistan

Zohra Yusuf is currently the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent, non-governmental body. She was elected to a second 3-year term in April 2014. She has been associated with the Commission since 1988 and has been elected to various positions in the past. She was also elected to the international board of the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights as a Vice President in 2013.

Zohra Yusuf leads many fact-finding missions of HRCP, focusing on rights violation in different parts of the country. As a freelance journalist she contributes to major Pakistani publications on issues of human rights and the media.   

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Kamaran Arif
Pakistan

Kamran Arif is a lawyer by profession. He has been associated with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) since 1992, and is currently it’s Co-Chairperson.  He has worked on issues relating to the rights of the religious minorities; Refugees and IDPs; Special areas including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Gilgit-Baltistan region; Elections and Electoral Laws; and the Criminal Justice System.  Kamran Arif has been member of the South Asia People’s Commission on the Rights of the Minorities (SAPCROM) team that visited Pakistan in 2004 and Nepal in 2005. He is currently also a Senior Legal Advisor for Open Society Foundation – Pakistan.

tahseen ahmaed
Tahseen Muhammad
Pakistan

He is actively engaged in different national and international networks and movements for peace, ecology, democracy and human rights. He is the founding Executive Director for South Asia Partnership Pakistan and was a founding member of Pakistan NGO Forum. He has been awarded the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Rights Award by the President of Pakistan.


lakshandias
Lakshan Dias
Sri Lanka

Lakshan Dias is a prominent human rights lawyer who has provided legal representation in a number of high-profile cases involving deportation and immigration, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and allegations of torture and religious rights of the minorities. Active member of Lawyers collective, Board Member of TISL and Chairperson of Rights Now collective for Democracy and former National General Secretary of National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lanka.

The human rights defender is also a vocal advocate of judicial independence and has provided protection to human rights defenders and journalists at risk, including by providing accompaniment.

Tahirih Qurratulayn
Sri Lanka

Tahirih is an Independent Consultant in the Development sector. Over has three decades of experience working with the health, humanitarian and development sectors, with extensive experiences in working with vulnerable groups of women &children. Her experiences cover a wide array of related fields including gender, conflict sensitivity, protection, disaster risk reduction and human rights related themes with a main forces on women & child rights.

 As a child rights advocate she had been able to assist organization in developing their “Child Protection Policy “ (CPP) document with local mechanisms & laws. This is to protect children from Abuse and Exploitation when working with adults in project and programmes.   

Tahirih obtained her graduate certificate in “Civil Society Initiative  in Peace Building “ from the School of International Training ,Vermont –Boston  USA. She has conducted Training of Trainers on “Good Prison  Management “(prisoners rights) , Women ,Juveniles & Access to Justice at Penal Reform International UK . She has been a Regional Trainer on “Child Led Disaster Risk Reduction” (CLDRR) for Save the Children UK/ Sweden and has been involved in many training activities in knowledge management & capacity building with the Government and the development sectors.( INGOs & NGOs)  

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Human Rights .& a Consultant for Professional Service Providers (PTV) Ltd