Osamah Al-Fakih is the Director of Media, Communications, and Advocacy at Mwatana Organization for Human Rights (Mwatana), and his research and advocacy have focused on defending human rights against mounting violations by all sides to the current conflict in Yemen. Prior to that, he directed Mwatana’s research unit, leading field investigations into human rights abuses in Yemen. Previously, Al-Fakih collaborated with different local and international organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. He was a fellow at Dejusticia and co-founded #SupportYemen Media Collective during the 2011 uprising. Graduating with a BA in English Literature from Sanaa University, Al-Fakih’s dedication to defending human rights was inspired by early experiences during the 2004-2010 Sa’ada Wars in Yemen.
Chloé Marnay-Baszanger is the Chief of the Peace Mission Section (PMSS), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her research and recent work focus on the integration of human rights in UN Peace Operations and the response to complex conflict and asymmetric threat environment. Marnay-Baszanger served as a political affairs officer in several UN Peacekeeping Missions in Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where she focused on rule of law, protection of civilians (POC), human rights, children and women, and drafted a policy that became the UN-wide Human Right Due Diligence Policy. As the Chief of PMSS, she led the planning and start-up deployment for UN missions in Sudan, Mali, and the Central African Republic, and human rights components and reconfiguration exercises in the DRC and Somalia, and her team led G5 negotiations to integrate protection into counter-terrorism operations, and negotiated the Joint Commitment between UN and African Union on peace operations partnerships. Prior that, Marnay-Baszanger held various positions working with human rights defenders and participated in various fact-finding missions and investigations, including in South Africa and Cambodia. She holds Master’s Degrees in International Affairs from Columbia University and Sciences PO Paris, a JD in International and Human Rights Law from Paris X, and an MPhil in Comparative History.
Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne
Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne is an international lawyer specializing in international humanitarian law, human rights law, protection, and UN sanctions. Most recently, she was appointed by the UN Secretary-General and served as the International Humanitarian Law Expert on the United Nations Security Council-mandated Panels of Experts on Yemen and Sudan, where she led human rights and humanitarian law-related fact-finding missions to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Switzerland, and Yemen. In 2013, she provided advice on sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur, Sudan to the UNSC Panel of Experts on Sudan.
Gunaratne holds a Master’s in human rights from the University of Oxford and a Master’s in international law from the University of Cambridge. She is an Attorney-at-Law enrolled in the Sri Lankan Supreme Court and a Dental Surgeon enrolled with the Medical Council.
Payal Shah is a human rights lawyer with expertise in conducting international, regional, and national legal advocacy and litigation to secure respect for women's and girls' sexual and reproductive rights. She is the Senior Counsel with the Asia Program of the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center), where she leads the programs on India and the Philippines. Shah’s authored and co-authored articles, fact-finding reports, and policy briefs on women's and girls' rights, including topics of child marriage, maternal mortality and morbidity, abortion, contraception, and women's rights in disaster settings. Prior to her work at the Center, she was a litigation associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and worked with the Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Dongfang Public Interest and Legal Aid Law Firm in Beijing.
Shah is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was named a Jack Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and earned a certificate in comparative and international law. She graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College.