Enhancing the Protection of Civilians in Syria
Panel Discussion – Committee Room CR13 Houses of Parliament
11 July 2018 – 5.30-6.30pm
Sophia Akram is a researcher at the International Centre for Relations & Diplomacy and a freelance journalist. Writing on human rights and social justice issues, she has had a particular focus on the humanitarian fallout of conflicts in the Middle East. She has written widely on forced migration and displacement with her work being published in Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye and The New Arab among other publications. Prior to her freelance career she worked in a number of Whitehall departments and NGOs and has worked in South Asia, South-East Asia as well as the Middle East.
Dr. Mohammed Ateek is a Syrian academic and journalist. He is also the director of Syria Solidarity Campaign, a UK-based organisation in solidarity with the Syrian people and in complete support of the Syrian revolution. Mohammed has been involved with different activist and refugee groups in the UK and internationally. He set up English language courses for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Greece. His academic work has focused on language and migration, shedding light on the pitfalls of the Home Office use of language analysis for determination of origin.
Anna joined Oxfam in 2014 to advise on regional policy and campaigns in MENA and Eurasia. She has been advising Oxfam on conflict policy and advocacy strategy with a particular focus on dynamics inside Syria, including helping to ensure conflict sensitivity of humanitarian aid and upcoming recovery efforts. Currently she serves as Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser – covering human security issues, as well as humanitarian policy in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Anna has held senior management positions in large-scale emergency response operations – covering protection/rights, relief and recovery in Russia’s North Caucasus. She managed protection databases, household economy assessments, school feeding programs, logistics operations and negotiated humanitarian access in Chechnya and the neighboring Russian republics. As a Russia-CIS specialist, she served as a multi-lateral diplomat, directing the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the areas of human security, humanitarian issues, democracy and rule of law. Working with legislators, governments and civil society actors from across Europe and North America, she lead on engaging Eurasian countries in meeting their OSCE Human Dimension (human security) commitments.
Anna is a US Fulbright and IREX fellow, and has studied conflict resolution in the CIS (Eurasia) region at St. Petersburg State University in Russia, as well as minority and refugee rights in Bulgaria. In addition to advising Oxfam, she serves as a research fellow of the Foreign Policy Centre. Bilingual in English and Russian, she is actively learning Farsi.
Originating from Austin, TX, USA, Pritchett moved to Sweden in 2015 to study human rights at Malmö University, with a focus on international relations, political violence and human rights law. During this time, Pritchett interned with the Swedish NGO, Open Skåne, conducting a region-wide study on religious cohesion and conflict in the Swedish contexts.
In 2016, Pritchett studied for six months in Yogyakarta, Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University, in the fields of diplomacy, global political violence, and international trade. Pritchett now studies criminology at Malmö University, with a focus on international crime and terrorism. Pritchett began working for the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in December of 2017, acting as spokesperson and Gulf crisis expert. In her work for Euro-Med, she has attended and presented research at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, January 2018; the UN Human Rights Council Session, March 2018; and the UN Human Rights Council Session, June 2018.
Pritchett’s work has been reported on by Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic’s online publications, and she has appeared frequently as a human rights spokesperson on Al Jazeera Arabic live news. Pritchett has also studied and presented on the situation in Gaza, Palestine, and the legal action of the UN Security Council towards Syria. Pritchett specializes in international human rights law and Middle Eastern conflicts in her work, and aims to conduct further research on effective strategies for combatting domestic political violence in the Western context.
Dr. Zara Ramsay
Zara Ramsay is a Lecturer in International Development Studies at the University of Portsmouth, with publications in the areas of gender and social justice. She is an expert in qualitative research methods, with experience of research team management in Pakistan, Myanmar and Nepal in addition to extensive fieldwork experience in South Asia. She has worked in the development sector in both research and project implementation roles focusing on women’s empowerment. Specifically these have been related to violence against women, employment, education, political displacement, religion and women’s access to sexual and reproductive health facilities.
Zara has recently been awarded (as Co-I) a prestigious UK Research Council grant to research the links between displacement and VAW in Myanmar and Nepal, and has been involved in multiple other donor-funded projects encompassing research and Monitoring & Evaluation. She has contributed to the evaluation of logframes and theories of change, and has been involved in Monitoring & Evaluation of programmes for women’s empowerment in Asia and Africa.