Between 1989 and 2021, a total of 346 human rights advocates from 95 countries attended HRAP. In recent years, advocates have ranged from early career advocates who have cut their teeth in very urgent human rights situations to mid-career advocates who have founded organizations.
Below are the biographies of current Advocates and descriptions by select alumni as to why they became human rights advocates.
To see a list of additional past Advocates click here.
To read about more about the work of our Advocates click here .
Communications and Advocacy Officer, Dana Social Group
The advocate from Ethiopia (they/them) is an artist and activist who works on reshaping the public narrative of queer and trans people in contemporary Ethiopian culture. They joined the underground LGBTI movement in 2017 after identifying the evident gap in representation and inclusivity within the LGBTI+ movement and the greater feminist initiatives in the country; they launched various projects targeting LBQ and TGNC (lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender-non-conforming) people. In 2019, they were elected as co-director of Dana Social Group and worked to strengthen the country’s longest-running LGBTQI organization in its early stages of movement and community building. They also worked to establish Ethiopia’s presence in global advocacy by co-writing shadow reports for CEDAW and UPR and participating in advocacy week in Geneva for the latter. Following their three-year term as director, they have held the role of communications and advocacy officer for the organization.
Executive Director, Solidarite Fanm Ayisyèn-SOFA
Sharma Aurelien (she/her) is a lifelong women’s rights activist specializing in the exploitation and exclusion of women and girls in her home country of Haiti. For the past seven years, she has worked for Solidarite Fanm Ayisyèn-SOFA, a Haitian non-profit organization helping women escape experiences of subordination, domination, discrimination, exclusion, and exploitation.
Dominican Republic, 2022
Founder and Leader, Reconoci.do
Ana María Belique (she/her) is a founding member and a leader of Reconoci.do, a movement that mobilizes and empowers Dominicans of Haitian descent, campaigns for equality and their citizenship rights, and supports those who need legal support to access their documents.
Coordinator , Warmi Shining and Uru Uru
Dayana Blanco Quiroga (she/her) is an Indigenous Aymara advocate of women’s rights, Indigenous rights, and environmental justice. She is the founder and main coordinator of the Warmi Shining and Uru Uru projects. The Warmi Shining and Uru Uru projects are part of the NGO Fundación Pueblos de Montaña’s effort to build the capacity of Indigenous girls impacted by climate change and gender-based violence. Girls are empowered through English classes, leadership workshops, and activities that make them more knowledgeable of social justice issues and the ways to tackle them. Warmi Shining teaches Indigenous girls leadership skills that help them overcome obstacles in their personal, academic, and professional lives. Uru Uru creates awareness of environmental justice issues and empowers Indigenous girls to advocate for their rights. Uru Uru generates spaces that encourage debates aimed at finding solutions to climate change issues affecting Indigenous communities. By seeking environmental justice and an end to violence against Indigenous women, Dayana hopes to bring peace and security to Indigenous communities in Bolivia.
Institutional Communication Officer , International Indigenous Women’s Forum
Isabel Flota (she/her) is the Institutional Communication Officer for the International Indigenous Women’s Forum/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indigenas (IIWF/FIMI). As a Maya woman who has experienced discrimination firsthand, she joined FIMI to advocate for Indigenous communities facing the same racism, discrimination, and alienation from their culture that she experienced. FIMI is a global network that mobilizes Indigenous women from all parts of the world to find consensus on agendas, coordinate objectives, and develops leadership. The organization bridges together women-led initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels They empower Indigenous women to lead international decision-making processes. By doing so, FIMI hopes to have the perspectives of Indigenous women consistently and seriously included in human rights discussions on an international level.
Programme Manager, NGO Atina
Jelena Hrnjak is a women's rights activist who believes in the strength of civic actions as key in the fight for equality. She is committed to providing direct support and long-term assistance to women and children victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence. As a Programme Manager of NGO Atina, Jelena has been managing the work of the organization for the past 14 years. She is considered one of the most experienced professionals in the field of combating human trafficking in Serbia, especially when it comes to programming and providing support to children who have survived sexual exploitation. She has been lecturing and leading trainings in Serbia as well as regionally and internationally. For almost a decade, she worked as a journalist in Switzerland and Serbia. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade. She is an alumnus of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, the International Visitors Leadership Program at the U.S. Department of State, and the leadership-building program at the Vital Voices Global Partnership. She engages with the Council of Europe as an international expert on human trafficking. Jelena is also the editor, author, and co-author of numerous research papers, analyses, and newspaper articles on the topic of human and women's rights protection.
South Africa, 2022
Co-Director and Knowledge and Research Manager , Iranti
Jade Jacobs (they/them) is an LGBTQIA+ activist from South Africa. They joined the human rights movement because they want to help end the violence, fatal hate crimes, and human rights violations perpetrated against the LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa. Jade’s passion for activism is rooted in their personal experience within the LGBTQIA+ community, which has motivated them to continue working towards creating more inclusive and supportive spaces. They act as both the Co-Director and the Knowledge and Research Manager of Iranti, a media-advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening African LGBTQIA+ rights movements. Iranti uses narratives to advance human rights by serving as a platform for various kinds of collective evidence-based documentation. By creating archives of human rights violations, engaging in policy reform, and influencing changes in legislature, Iranti helps strengthen movements at local, national, and regional levels. Through Iranti, different movements can help shift public dialogue and perceptions around sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Civil and Political Rights Program Director , Georgian Democracy Initiative
Marine Kapanadze (she/her) is a human rights lawyer currently serving as the Civil and Political Rights Program Director at the Georgian Democracy Initiative, a local non-governmental organization in Georgia. She is actively engaged in the protection of different vulnerable groups including LGBTQ+ activists and journalists and has represented them before state bodies and courts. For more than nine years, she has been monitoring cases of discrimination, hate speech, and hate crimes; litigating strategic cases; and advocating for changes in legislation and practice. As a part of her job, she is also in charge of fundraising and communication with various stakeholders, including local and international organizations, state bodies, donors, etc. Moreover, she lectures at universities and conducts trainings on freedom of speech, national anti-discrimination mechanism, and the rule of law.
Head of Strategy, TRANSmoras Association
Antonia Moreira (she/her) is the Head of Strategy of Ateliê TRANSmoras Association, a trans-led non-profit organization that aims to promote the inclusion of trans people in Brazil. TRANSmoras Association seeks to advocate for the rights of trans people, especially travesti people, because of the increasing violence these communities face in Brazil. TRANSmoras uses fashion to showcase the contributions trans people make to Brazilian culture, build critical narratives around society, and validate the existence of trans identities as legitimate. The organization has been developing collective work that contemplates trans people’s material and symbolic demands while fostering new possibilities of life for trans people. By teaching regenerative design and manufacturing techniques such as upcycling, TRANSmoras Association has made designing clothes a source of self-expression and income more accessible to trans people. The organization sustains itself by forming a network of creative types where knowledge and resources can be shared with one another.
Democratic Republic Of Congo, 2022
Advocacy Officer, La Colombe ASBL
Julienne Mugaruka Byenda (she/her) is the Advocacy Officer of La Colombe ASBL, which is based in Goma, DRC. Motivated by the trauma she has experienced as a trans woman, Julienne became an activist so that she can fight for the rights of the trans community and improve lives. La Colombe ASBL promotes a safe environment in which LGBTQ people, especially trans women, can safely and freely live their lives without fear of discrimination, stigma, or violence. La Colombe ASBL empowers trans women to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose through direct services and support. The organization primarily focuses on protecting the rights of trans women because they are the most vulnerable population within the LGBTQ community and are the most affected by discrimination, family rejection, social exclusion, arbitrary arrests, repeated corrective rapes, increased poverty, and lack of a legal protection framework.
Director of Communications for the Americas, Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Daniel Alejandro Pinilla is a Colombian journalist with more than nine years’ experience in human rights and sustainable development. He has worked for international organizations such as the United Nations, Caritas Internationalis in Vatican City, the Latin American Rule of Law program of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and CEJIL where he is currently the Director of Communications. As a journalist he wrote for the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo and the international news chain CNN. Most recently, he has led important initiatives using new technologies to promote human rights such as databases with open access to regional jurisprudence, virtual observatories of justice and journalism, the International Film Fest on Human Rights, and online courses to access to international justice. He has worked on interdisciplinary approaches like connections between arts and human rights. Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Communication and Journalism from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) and a specialization in Human Rights from the Collège Universitaire Henry Dunant (Switzerland). In 2012, he was awarded with a scholarship at the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica. Daniel’s participation in HRAP is funded by friends of 1990 Advocate Felipe Michelini of Uruguay in his memory.
Mariam Antadze has been the project coordinator at the Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT) since 2017. She has contributed to the rehabilitation and social empowerment of vulnerable groups including female victims of gender-based and domestic violence, IDPs from conflict-affected regions, and prisoners and former prisoners whose rights have been violated. Currently, Mariam is managing a project focusing on the establishment of a victim-centered approach for SGBV survivors within the judiciary system in Georgia. She holds the BA in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Costa Rica, 2021
Larissa Arroyo Navarrete is a bisexual activist from Costa Rica. She is also a lawyer whose academic and professional work has focused on human rights, especially on sexual and reproductive rights, as a researcher, legal adviser and expert consultant. She has worked with multiple national and regional organizations to achieve legal and political changes through projects that promote strategic actions for human rights. She is the founder of the Asociación Ciudadana ACCEDER, a feminist organization dedicated to promoting strategic actions for human rights to strengthen the leadership of women, especially bisexual, lesbian and non heterosexual women. She was the director of ACCEDER until 2021. Also, she has been an active member of FDI (Frente para los Derechos Igualitarios), a Costa Rican collective focused on actions for effective access to human rights LBGTIQ+ in Costa Rica since 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree and a Licenciatura of Law from the Universidad de Costa Rica, two postgraduate diplomas in Human Rights and Women by the University of Chile, and a master’s degree in Human Rights by the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. She holds the Master's Degree in Constitutional Justice from the Universidad de Costa Rica.
Mario D’Andrea is a Venezuelan attorney working with NGOs including Defiende Venezuela, Civilis Derechos Humanos and Compromiso Compartido with experience in advocacy and international litigation before the Inter-American and Universal Human Rights Systems drafting individual petitions, precautionary measures, and communications around the human rights treaty bodies and special procedures. Since he started working on human rights litigation in Venezuela, he has drafted cases helping approximately 80 human rights victims, and he was part of private hearings to release a victim with a precautionary measure from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Mario’s activities involve also building the capacity of civil society organizations, especially those focusing on low-income communities, and coordinating projects. Mario holds the Bachelor of Law from Universidad Catolica Andrés Bello.
North Macedonia, 2021
Marija Krstevska has been involved in the youth sector in North Macedonia in various capacities over the past 12 years, starting as a participant and volunteer and moving up the ranks as a project coordinator, moderator, facilitator and trainer. She is now the Secretary General of Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID), a youth organization in Kumanovo. Marija plans to devote her time as the Secretary-General of CID to improving the position of young people in Kumanovo and the country in general, by providing more opportunities for active and quality involvement of young people in all processes that are tackling youth issues. She is also the President of the National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM), the largest youth representative body in North Macedonia, representing and advocating for youth and its 51 members (youth organizations, organizations for youth, unions, and youth wings of other organizations). She holds the LLM from Faculty of Law Iustinianus Primus in Skopje.