Master’s Degree in Economics, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, University of Kerala, India


English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil

When the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) was established in 2007, I was inspired by its mandate to protect civilians affected by the conflict and to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. So I applied to join as a Human Rights Officer and was soon deployed to West Darfur. With over 26,000 peacekeepers, UNAMID is the largest peacekeeping mission in the world. In addition to protecting civilians, UNAMID’s mandate includes monitoring and contributing to the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, supporting an inclusive political process, and promoting the protection of the human rights of all citizens.

Since fighting broke out in 2003, widespread atrocities such as the killing of civilians and the rape of women and girls have been committed in Darfur. In order to assess the human rights situation, my team regularly visits remote communities. Unfortunately, in many places we visit, the people have had negative experiences with outsiders in the past, so we often spend many days building up trust with the community so that they feel safe talking to us. For example, when I first visited the village of Foro Baranga in West Darfur, I knew they would be reluctant to meet another “foreigner”. So a colleague who was acquainted with a community leader there wrote a letter vouching for me in Arabic. That letter opened a door, and I spent almost the entire day talking to the leader, until others in the community began to open up to me as well.

My main responsibility includes monitoring and reporting human rights violations. In 2008, I was documenting the cases of civilians who had been victims of torture by armed groups. One such case involved a civilian who was paralyzed in his left hand, could barely walk, and had lost the hearing in his right ear. So I contacted a local NGO which provides medical support to torture victims. In 2011, a man I did not recognize called me by my name in the street. It was the same man that I had helped, visibly changed and healthy enough to work again. As a Human Rights Officer, I work with countless victims of human rights violations and it is moments like this, which prove people can recover from such atrocities, make my work worthwhile.

Too many people globally suffer under oppressive regimes. I am impressed by the United Nations’ commitment to these people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. I am also inspired by the courage of the victims I meet, and their ability to rise above adversity and go about their lives. It is their strength and love for life that motivates me to continue working in the international arena.

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