Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guest Blogger: Monika Kalra Varma

Honored to welcome Monika Kalra Varma (right) as IntLawGrrls' guest blogger today.
Monika is the Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C., where she develops and oversees programming, day-to-day operations, longterm strategies. (Prior IntLawGrrls posts.)
Since joining the center in 2002, she's spearheaded innovative economic and social rights advocacy, including efforts to hold international actors accountable for extraterritorial economic rights violations. Advocacy campaigns she's led have targeted the United Nations and its member states, various branches of the U.S. government, members of the Organization of American States and other regional bodies, international financial institutions, and corporations.
Monika serves on the editorial board of Health and Human Rights: An International Journal, published by the Harvard-based François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, and she is a steering committee member of the Lawyers Emergency Response Network for Haiti. She is also a member of the advisory board for the Global India Fund.
She speaks regularly with policymakers and members of civil society about domestic and international human rights issues, and has published commentary in, to name a few, the Boston Globe, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and Jurist.
Today she contributes to IntLawGrrls. Monika's guest post below discusses her recent visit to Western Sahara as part of an RFK Center delegation -- a visit that produced a just-published report.
Prior to joining the RFK Center, Monika worked at The Hague. As a legal officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, she was a member of the trial team which secured the ICTY's first indictment and eventual conviction of the crime of terror. Accused, and eventually convicted, was General Stanislav Galić, the Serb military commander in Sarajevo from 1992-1994.
Monika earned her B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego, and her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. Indeed, I'm proud to say that she is a former student of mine, and the author while a student of a pathbreaking article, "Forced Marriage: Rwanda’s Secret Revealed," 7 University of California Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 197 (2001). We're been honored to name her a featured alumna on the website of our California International Law Center at King Hall, and also to work with her on the Darfur Project (described in posts available here) undertaken jointly between CILC and the RFK Center.
A truly heartfelt welcome!

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