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International Advisory Council

The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has established an International Advisory Council which consists of a body of persons with expertise in human rights or development or both and who provide input into the work of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The following individuals make up the International Advisory Council:


Dr. Mario Gomez

Mario (LL.B; LL.M; Ph.D) works as an independent researcher and human rights lawyer in Sri Lanka. He is a Member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and a Visiting Lecturer in the University of Colombo. He recently worked on an anti-corruption study for Transparency International Sri Lanka, and is completing a study on land rights in Eastern Sri Lanka. He was previously a Lecturer in Law at the University of Colombo where he taught administrative law, constitutional law, humanitarian law, jurisprudence, and women’s rights at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. More recently he worked with the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies, and served as the Country Director for Nepal and Sri Lanka with the International Commission of Jurists.  Mario has published in the areas of post-conflict justice, public law, economic and social rights, women’s rights, human rights commissions, and internally displaced persons. He has designed and conducted training programmes for judges, human rights activists, and staff of human rights commissions. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University in 2001/2002.

Shyamala Gomez

Shyamala has taught law including women’s human Rights at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka.  She is a leading expert on women’s human rights in Asia as well as at the global level generally.  She is a Gender Advisor to several UN agencies and worked with the Women and Housing Rights Programme at the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) from 2005 to 2011.

Lara El-Jazairi

Lara El-Jazairi is a Policy Officer with Oxfam GB and former Legal Officer with the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) Right to Water Programme. She holds a masters degree in human rights and has extensive experience of working with both human rights and development NGOs. She has been working on the right to water and sanitation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since 2007, and has published numerous reports and articles on this issue. She has also conducted numerous trainings on applying the rights based approach to water and sanitation for community groups, NGOs, UN Agencies and government ministries.

Ashfaq Khalfan

Ashfaq is the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Policy Coordinator with Amnesty International. He is the former Coordinator of the Right to Water Programme with the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE).  Ashfaq is a PhD candidate at Oxford University Faculty of Law and his law degree from McGill University.

Dr. Aoife Nolan

Aoife is Senior Lecturer at Durham University School of Law.  Aoife graduated with an LL.B from Trinity College Dublin in 2000 and completed her PhD at the European University Institute, Florence, in 2005. From 2006-2010,  she was a lecturer at the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, where she served as both Assistant  Director of the Human Rights Centre and Director of Postgraduate Programmes in Human Rights.  She has also served a member of the Executive Committee of the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation. While at QUB, she co-managed a major research project on ‘Budget Analysis and The Advancement of Social and Economic Rights in Northern Ireland’. She has worked with and acted as an expert advisor to a wide range of international and national organisations and bodies working on human rights issues including adderall. Amongst other activities, she has served as a Council of Europe Expert on economic and social rights and as Senior Legal Officer with the ESC Rights Litigation Programme of the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.  In early 2008, she provided legal advice to members of the International NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  She has published extensively in the areas of human rights, particularly in relation to economic and social rights and children’s rights, as well as on constitutional law.

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