Historically, each mandate holder hosts a handover meeting for the new UN Special Rapporteur in order to introduce the work of the mandate, allies who support the work of the mandate, and to discuss future directions. Covid-19 has changed many things, including the structure and form of this meeting. In 2020-2021 we held five Handover Dialogues, each focusing on one of the themes of particular importance and interest in Dainius Pūras’ mandate reports, and bringing activists and scholars on that topic to discuss its impact and debate current related work.
Paul Hunt, a New Zealand and British national, is a human rights expert who specialises in economic, social and cultural rights. Formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and a Professor of Law at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex (UK). He has held senior UN human rights appointments, including Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999–2002), UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health (2002–2008) and Senior Human Rights Advisor to the Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization, Flavia Bustreo (2011–2013). In 2018, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, appointed Hunt to her Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership. In January 2019, he took up office as Chief Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.Paul Hunt, a New Zealand and British national, is a human rights expert who specialises in economic, social and cultural rights. Formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and a Professor of Law at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex (UK). He has held senior UN human rights appointments, including Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999–2002), UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health (2002–2008) and Senior Human Rights Advisor to the Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization, Flavia Bustreo (2011–2013). In 2018, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, appointed Hunt to her Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership. In January 2019, he took up office as Chief Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
Anand Grover was the United Nations Special Rapporteur (2008-2014) on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. Mr. Grover is a leading figure in efforts to use law to advance the rights of those living with, or vulnerable to, HIV/AIDS in India. As the director and co-founder of the Lawyers Collective, he has handled hundreds of HIV oriented cases in India on issues ranging from discrimination to access to medicines. He recently argued Naz Foundation Trust v. Government of NCT, Delhi and Others, in which the Delhi High Court struck down the criminal prohibitions relating to sodomy in the Indian Penal Code. Mr. Grover serves as a member of various renowned health boards. These include serving as a National Advisory Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a member of the World Care Council, a member of the Board of the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), a member of the Core Group of NGOs representatives in the National Human Rights Commission of India, and a member of the National Advisory Board on HIV and AIDS set up by the Prime Minister of India. He was also a member of the drafting group of the International Guidelines on Human Rights & HIV/AIDS.
Dainius Pūras is a professor of child psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Since 2018 he is a director of the Human rights monitoring institute – NGO based in Lithuania. Among positions he was holding, he was a President of Lithuanian Psychiatric Association, Dean of Medical Faculty of Vilnius University, President of Baltic Association for Rehabilitation. In 2007-2011 Dainius Pūras was a member of the UN Committee on the rights of the child. In 2014 – 2020 Dainius Pūras was serving as a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health.
Dainius Pūras has been and remains actively involved in national and international activities in the field of developing and implementing evidence-based and human rights based health-related policies and services, with special focus on children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions and other groups in vulnerable situations and issues related to promotion of mental health and prevention of all forms of violence. His main interest is management of change in the field of health-related services regionally and globally, with main focus on operationalization of human rights based approach through effective policies and services.
Tlaleng Mofokeng is a medical doctor with expertise advocating for universal health access, HIV care, youth friendly services and family planning.
Tlaleng Mofokeng is Commissioner at the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa and member of the boards of Safe Abortion Action Fund, Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing, Accountability International. She is also the Chair of the Soul City Institute board. She has experience in advocacy training for healthcare professionals and her areas of focus have been on gender equality, policy, maternal and neonatal health, universal health access, post violence care, menstrual health, and HIV management.
Tlaleng Mofokeng has been advisor to the Technical Committee for the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy in South Africa, successfully mobilizing across movements working on issues of children and adolescents, persons with disabilities, migrants and persons living with HIV/AIDS. She has briefed the United States Senate congressional staff on the impact of the Global Gag Rule globally and in the region. She has worked as a first responder on matters of gender-based violence, and has been an expert witness in court, leaning on the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to defend the rights of the abused with an interest to ensure access to post violence care.
Allan Maleche is a dynamic leader, an advocate of the high court of Kenya and a human rights defender with over twelve years of experience in law, ethics, governance, policy, health and rights, including seven years managing rights-based programmes that protect affected, marginalised and vulnerable populations. He sits on the UNAIDS Human Rights Reference group. A former Board Member of the Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board, where he also served as Alternate Board Member. Allan is also a former member of the Global Fund’s Audit and Finance Committee, and the former Chair of the Implementers Group of the Global Fund Board.
China Mills is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Director of the Masters in Public Health (MPH), at the School of Health Sciences, City, University of London. She is the author of the book ‘Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrization of the Majority World’ (Routledge). China’s research looks at how mental health is framed and contested as being global and at what happens when issues such as distress and suicide are framed as ‘global mental health’ issues. China works with a range of NGOs and organisations, including Bapu Trust and Healing Justice London. She is currently working on a number of projects, including: research co-produced with psychiatric survivors on Madness after the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and research co-produced with a team of folks with lived experience looking at deaths linked to UK welfare retrenchment and disabled people’s flight for justice.
Julian Eaton is the Mental Health Director for CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. He works with a team focused on improving access to care and support, and promoting the voice of people with psychosocial disabilities in low and middle income countries.He is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is currently leading a number of research projects looking at strengthening community-based mental health care, reform of public mental health systems in Africa, and promoting greater participation in research.
He leads the Mental Health Innovations Network at LSHTM, and is Chair of the Bond International NGO Mental Health Group. Julian trained in London where he now works, after living and working in West Africa between 2003 and 2017.
Bhargavi Davar, Ph. D. is a childhood survivor of psychiatric institutions in India; and has survived acute mental health crisis and psycho-social disability of 2 decades or more, through the use of life affirming non medical healing approaches. She has worked extensively in the field of mental health research, nonmedical practice and advocacy since 1993. She has published several academic papers and books including Psychoanalysis as a Human Science; Mental health of Indian women; Gender from a mental health perspective; and more recently from Oxford University Press (2015), [Co-Ed] Gendering mental health: Knowledges, identities, institutions. She founded the Bapu Trust for Research Mind & Discourse, the first Indian user survivor organization to give an organisational framework to her advocacy work and served as its Director for 20 years. Her interests span social sciences, feminist and cultural studies, disability inclusive development and mental health. She is presently Director, Transforming Communities for Inclusion, TCI, a global organization of persons with psychosocial disabilities and intersectional identities, working with a vision for their full inclusion.
Alberto Vásquez Encalada is a Peruvian human rights lawyer and disability rights advocate. He graduated in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and holds an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He works as a consultant on disability rights and mental health law, and has served in that role at various United Nations entities. He worked as Research Coordinator at the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities during Catalina Devandas’ mandate. In Peru, he has been actively involved in the drafting, advocacy and monitoring of laws and policies concerning disability and mental health. He is the president of the Sociedad y Discapacidad – SODIS and a member of the Redesfera Latinoamericana de la Diversidad.
UNICEF Disability and social protection policy specialist. Alexandre Cote has been working in the field of inclusive development for 25 years across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Actively involved in the negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), he coordinated civil society’s inputs on social protection. With Handicap International (now Humanity and Inclusion), he supported and managed programs in the field of community development, support services, health and rehabilitation, local humanitarian relief and support to civil society in Eastern Africa, Southeast Europe, and the Middle East. As capacity building and program manager for the International Disability Alliance, he coordinated technical assistance to Organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) on CRPD related advocacy and provided institutional support to most marginalised constituencies, including networks of persons with psychosocial disabilities and the world federation of deafblind. In recent years, he has been focusing on CRPD compliant social protection and public budgeting as well as meaningful participation of DPOs
Judy Chang is the Executive Director of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD). She has worked in the HIV, community health and development field for ten years and harm reduction and drug policy for six years. She brings decades of lived experience as a woman who uses drugs, and centres the need for decriminalisation and combatting stigma and discrimination. Judy has worked across India, China, and Thailand and holds a Master’s in International Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Contemporary Cultures.
Nataliia Isaieva is the director of LEGALIFE-UKRAINE, an organization run by sex workers. She has been living with HIV for over 23 years, has 15 years of experience as a sex worker and activist. She speaks openly about her HIV-positive status and her history as a sex worker. Natalia began her work in activism and human rights 16 years ago, first by talking about the rights of people living with HIV and then becoming actively involved in the development of the sex worker movement in Ukraine. Around the same time, she joined the Sex Worker Advocates Network (SWAN), where she was the chair of the Steering Committee from 2011 to 2015. In 2016, she was elected to the European Region Council in the Global Network of Sex Worker Projects (NSWP), as well as to the International Steering Committee of the Red Umbrella Fund.
Lucas Ramón Mendos (he/him) is the Research Coordinator at the International LGBTI Association (ILGA). He is a lawyer, lecturer and researcher, specialized in international human rights law and sexual and gender diversity issues. Lucas earned his LLB degree with a focus on international law from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and his LLM degree on sexuality and the law from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He has worked as an attorney with the LGBTI Rapporteurship of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Williams Institute International Program. He has served as a defence attorney for asylum seekers with the Office of the Defender General (Argentina) and as an adviser on SOGIESC issues to the Human Rights Secretariat of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Charles Hawthorne (they/he) is a part of National Harm Reduction Coalition’s California capacity building team as a Capacity Building Manager. Their role entails leading the NHRC’s harm reduction training work for the state of California and supporting harm reduction programs with technical assistance. In their prior role, Charles led the San Francisco Harm Reduction Training Institute, providing harm reduction education and support to programs that serve people who use drugs, people who do sex work, and unhoused populations. Charles received their B.S. in Biochemistry from Purdue University and is currently pursuing their Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. They are a Bloomberg American Health Initiative fellow focusing on addiction and overdose.
Edwin J Bernard is the founding Executive Director of the HIV Justice Network, a global advocacy organisation that plays an essential leadership role in combatting HIV criminalisation and convening diverse partners to resist punitive legal and public health responses to people living with HIV. He is also the Global Co-ordinator of the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE coalition – led by a nine-member Steering Committee and supported by over 100 civil society organisations – which campaigns to end HIV criminalisation. His focus is on pragmatic solutions to laws and policies at the intersection of public health and human rights, including combating ignorance, misinformation, and stigma through science, rationality, and collaboration. Notably, Edwin has been contributing to global knowledge of, and advocacy against, HIV criminalisation since his first book on the subject in 2007, Criminal HIV Transmission. He published a second book, HIV and the Criminal Law, in 2010. Edwin, who was born in the UK and is now based in Amsterdam, and who acquired HIV in 1983 at the age of 21, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and literature from the University of Warwick.
Dr Adrian Jjuuko is a Ugandan human rights lawyer, researcher and activist, with over 12 years experience. He is the founder and Executive Director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), an organisation that operates the only specialised legal aid clinic for LGBTI persons in Uganda, and advocates for legal change in favour of marginalised groups. Adrian coordinated the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, which led civil society opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, and for this, won the US State Department’s Human Rights Defenders Award 2011. The Coalition successfully prosecuted the case that led to the nullification of the Anti-
Homosexuality Act, 2014 and pursued the first completed case on LGBT issues in an international Court in Africa – the case that challenged Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act at the East African Court of Justice. His research interests are in the area of legal reform for marginalised groups.
Naomi Burke-Shyne is the Executive Director of Harm Reduction International. She brings more than 15 years of international experience at the intersection of law, harm reduction, HIV and human rights. From 2014 to 2017, Naomi worked for the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, leading a portfolio of funding and policy engagement that supported civil society to challenge the negative impact of drug policy on access to controlled medicines, and strengthen access to justice for people who use drugs. Between 2009 and 2014, Naomi worked in a regional capacity for the HIV and Health Law Program at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), posted in Jakarta, Kathmandu, then Kampala. Naomi is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group to the UN on HIV and Drug Use, a member of the Global Fund Technical Review Panel for Human Rights and Gender, and a member of the World Health Organization Guidelines Group on ‘Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances.’
Dr Nkatha Murungi is an Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) in human rights from the University of Pretoria, and a Doctorate in Law from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. She oversees the Centre’s Women’s Rights, Disability, and Children’s Rights Units. Dr Murungi is a qualified advocate of the Kenyan Bar, and a lecturer and researcher in human rights with a keen focus on the rights of vulnerable groups such as children, women and persons with disabilities, and sexual and reproductive health rights. She has extensive experience in pan-African human rights programming and advocacy, civil society engagement with the African Union and its mechanisms, as well as human rights research, particularly in Africa. Her research covers a range of human rights issues including child rights, education, sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls in Africa, disability rights, and access to justice.
Enid Muthoni Ndiga leads the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights as the Senior Vice President, overseeing its four regional programs based in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe and the Center’s global advocacy work at the United Nations. A Kenyan national, Enid has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of law, human rights, gender and women’s rights. Before joining the Center, Enid served as Country Director of Kenya and then Regional Manager for Africa at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law. Enid has also worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Norwegian Church Aid, Eastern Africa, the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya). Enid received her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Nairobi, a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, and an MA in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi.
Prof Charles Ngwena, LLB, LLM, LLD, Barrister-at-Law, is Professor of Law in the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and works across disciplines. He has published on issues at the intersection between human rights and health, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive and sexual health with a focus on the African region. He also works in the fields of disability rights, and race, culture and sexualities. He serves as the Convening Editor of the African Disability Rights Yearbook, Section Editor of Developing World Bioethics (for Law and Bioethics) and associate editor of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. He is co-editor of Employment equity law (Butterworths); co-editor of Health and human rights (Ashgate, 2007); and co-editor of Strengthening sexual and reproductive rights in the African region through human rights (Pretoria University Law Press, 2014). He is the author of What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities (Pretoria University Law Press, 2018), available online here. You can listen to the podcast on this book here.
Saoyo Tabitha Griffith, LLB (Moi University), Post Graduate Diploma (Kenya School of Law), LLM (University of Pretoria) PhD (Cardiff University, ongoing) Aspen New Voices Fellow 2019, Law Society of Kenya Pro-Bono Jurist 2019. Ms Saoyo is an astute legal and policy expert on health and human rights. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with over nine years of experience navigating the policy, human rights, health and governance spaces in East Africa. Her special bias is in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, particularly having engaged in programs targeted at addressing unsafe abortion, sexual violence, forced sterilization and teen pregnancies. Professionally, Saoyo has worked in private practice, served at the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya and consulted for UNDP in contextualizing HIV and the linkages to sexual and gender-based violence. Until recently, she was the Deputy Director and Head of Programs at KELIN, a Kenyan NGO working on health-related rights. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching and has been a visiting lecturer at the Strathmore Law School and Centre for Human Rights, South Africa.
Ebenezer Durojaye is a Professor of Law and Head of the Socioeconomic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His research interests include human rights issues raised by access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the intersection between gender inequality and HIV/AIDS response in Africa, women’s health and adolescents’ sexual and reproductive rights in Africa. He has written widely on these issues in international journals. He is one of the Independent Experts of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV.
Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo is a passionate human rights lawyer and gender activist, with over fifteen years of experience in human rights, particularly advancing woman’s rights and gender equality. She is currently programmes lead at AIDS and Rights Alliance in Southern Africa (ARASA) a regional partnership of civil society organisations working in 18 countries in Southern and East Africa.
The partnership works to promote respect for and the protection of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity for all in order to reduce inequality, especially gender inequality and promote health, dignity and wellbeing in southern and east Africa. Prior to joining ARASA Nyasha was Regional Manager for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Center is a global organisation that uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. Before joining the Center, she was at the Southern Africa Litigation Center (SALC) based in Johannesburg, South Africa where she was responsible for leading SALC’s legal, advocacy and research work related to sexual and reproductive rights and HIV.
Kim Wichera (they/them) have been working in the antipsychiatric facility runaway house “Villa Stöckle” in Berlin since 2005 and are an anti-psychiatric activist, editor, and artist.
Chris Hansen, a New Zealander by birth, is the Director of Intentional Peer Support, and has been co-teaching and developing Intentional Peer Support in the United States and in other countries with Shery Mead for the past 16 years. Chris has spent twenty years involved in local, regional, national, and international peer support and advocacy initiatives, and in mental health sector planning and politics from a service user perspective. Other roles have included clinical and management in both inpatient and outpatient mental health services, leadership within NZ’s award-winning anti-discrimination campaign, research for the NZ Mental Health Commission, and involvement in the development of the NZ national mental health strategic plan and workforce development strategy. Chris was a member of the New Zealand delegation to the United Nations for the development of the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; has served on the board of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and has played a key role in the development of a number of peer-run crisis respites and alternatives.
Sera Davidow is a filmmaker, activist, advocate, and mother of two verybusy kids. As a survivor of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse as a child and domestic violence as an adult, Sera has faced many challenges throughout herown healing process, including many ups and downs with suicidal thoughts, self- injury, and seeing disturbing visions. At present, she spends much of her time working with the Wildflower Alliance (formerly known as the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community), serving on the board of Hearing Voices USA, and writing for MadinAmerica.com. You can learn more about her and her work in an April, 2018 article in Sun Magazine.
Keris J Myrick is a Director at the Jed Foundation and Co-Director of The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i) which aims to advance the transformation of mental health by catalyzing cross-sectional reforms, strengthening collaborations, and bridging gaps. She serves on the Board of the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS) and is a Certified Personal Medicine Coach. Ms. Myrick previously held positions as the Chief, Peer and Allied Health Professions for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the United States Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), President and CEO of Project Return Peer Support Network, a Los Angeles-based, peer-run nonprofit and the Board President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Ms. Myrick is a leading mental health advocate and executive, known for her innovative and inclusive approach to mental health reform and the public disclosure of her personal story. Ms. Myrick has over 15 years experience in mental health services innovations, transformation, and peer workforce development. In June 2021, Ms Myrick was the recipient of Mental Health America’s highest honor the Clifford W. Beers Award. Ms. Myrick’s personal story was featured in the New York Times series: Lives Restored, which told the personal narratives of several professionals living with mental health issues. Ms. Myrick is an in-demand national trainer and keynote speaker, and has authored several peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She is known for her collaborative style and innovative “whole person” approach to mental health care and is a podcast host of “Unapologetically Black Unicorns” which centers on lived experience, race equity, and mental health change agents. Ms. Myrick has a Master of Science degree in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. Her Master of Business Administration degree is from Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Cat Brooks has been a force for change as she engages in the work of accompaniment and struggle. Inspired by her own lived experience, she has spent her life organizing to bring an end to unjust systems which were built to sustain the privileges of the status quo. Whether honing her skills as a consummate performer and passionate speaker or serving as the Communications Director for Coaching Corps, as Executive Director of Youth Together, or as Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Cat’s leadership has always been informed by and in collaboration with impacted communities. She played a central role in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant and is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) whose mission is to rapidly respond to and ultimately eradicate state violence in communities of color. With APTP she shepherded the development of a “First Responders” process which provides resources and training for a rapid community- based response to police violence. This model is currently being replicated across the state of California and the country. While Cat’s energies have been centered on activism and community engagement, she also successfully navigates the “halls of power” offering her considerable skills to the work of negotiating the passage of AB392 and SB 1421. In addition, she has organized with local housing advocates to bring Proposition 10 (Repeal Costa Hawkins) to the ballot in November. Cat currently serves as the Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network, a network of grassroots activists providing rapid response and healing justice in response to all forms of State violence across California. In addition, she is touring her one-woman show, Tasha, about the in-custody murder of Natasha McKenna in the Fairfax County Jail. And, in late 2018, Cat was the runner up in the Oakland mayoral race. She lives in West Oakland with her daughter.
Faraaz Mahomed is a Clinical Psychologist and Researcher in the field of rights- based approaches to mental health and wellbeing. He received a Doctor of Public Health Degree from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health focusing on mental health and human rights. In addition, he received an MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and an MA in International Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, as a Fulbright Scholar. He is a Research Associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Currently working with the Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations on issues of mental health financing and global mental health governance, he has been a research consultant to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, UNICEF, and others. He previously held the positions of Senior Researcher for Equality at the South African Human Rights Commission and Clinical Psychologist in community health settings in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.
Inez Feria is the Founder and Director of NoBox Philippines. NoBox is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing our humanity front and center into our understanding and response to drugs, and to the creation of bigger and more liberating spaces for people whose lives include drugs, which, essentially, is really for all of us. NoBox advocates for policies and programs anchored on principles of harm reduction, human rights, and justice. Inez is fueled by the belief that we can make the world a little more logical, a little more scientific, and, always, a little kinder.
Over the last three decades, Dean Peacock has worked in South Africa, across Africa, the Americas, and globally, to prevent violence, promote peace, and advance gender equality and human rights.
Dean Peacock has founded and directed many ground-breaking local, national, and global initiatives, and has built strong civil society organisations and alliances. These have used a combination of research, academic partnerships, strategic litigation, policy advocacy, and community mobilization to win changes in national laws in South Africa, and contribute to important paradigmatic and programmatic changes within civil society, governments, the United Nations, and amongst bilateral donors.
He is currently the director of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s multi-country initiative to mobilise men for feminist peace. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer and BRIDGES PhD Fellow at the University of Cape Town’s School of Public Health, a Visiting Scholar at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, a Senior Fellow at Promundo, and an Ashoka Changemaker Fellow. He was short-listed for the 2019 Skoll award for entrepreneurship. He is the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice, a multi-award winning South African NGO working in twentyfive countries across Africa, and the Co-Founder and former Co-Chair of the MenEngage Alliance, now active in over seventy countries around the world.
Dean has an Honors Degree in Development Studies from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Social Welfare from San Francisco State University, and is a candidate for a PhD in Public Health at the University of Cape Town.
Líam Mac Gabhann is a mental health practitioner/therapist, community activist, medical sociologist, and researcher into transforming dialogues in mental health communities. He has been working in mental health communities with like minded critical voices and activists to play any small part that will shift the paradigm to effective supports and services in mental health communities. He is Associate Professor in Mental Health Practice at Dublin City University, where the administrative headquarters of INTAR is now based and he provides secretariat support to the INTAR organising committee.
Andrea Parra is an attorney, legal activist, translator and experiential trainer. She is a core trainer with Training for Change, a U.S.-based organization that has developed an experiential methodology of training that supports groups to stand up more effectively for justice, peace and the environment. Until recently, she was the Global Advocacy Director for CREA, a feminist human rights organization based in India. She has also worked at the Washington College of Law of American University as the Practitioner-in-Residence for the Immigrant Justice Clinic. Prior to that she was the director of the Action Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS), a human rights law clinic at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia focusing on advocating against discrimination based on disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. She was a professor at the School of Law of the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá for seven years and was awarded the Innovative Teaching Award
in 2015. Between 2007 and 2011, she worked as a senior staff attorney at Women’s Link Worldwide, where she directed the Gender Justice Observatory. Between 2001 and 2006 she worked as staff attorney and supervisor of the Domestic Violence unit at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle, USA. She has trained in various countries on issues related to human rights, sexuality and disability as well as conducted training of trainers in experiential education. She is also a translator and interpreter on feminist and social justice issues and among others, translated the books Gender Stereotyping, Transnational Legal Perspectives by Rebecca Cook and Simone Cusack and Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: An Organizing Guide by Daniel Hunter. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Sinergias, a member of the Colombian Coalition for the Implementation of the CRPD, and has worked closely with Colombian grassroots groups working to advance trans rights and disability justice. @andreparrafo