Human rights KC launches non-profit with 11-year-old daughter to promote gender equality

Girls Human Rights Hub to offer mentorship and training for girls and young women across the world

Sultana Tafadar KC and her daughter Safiyah Image courtesy of No5 Barristers’ Chambers

A human rights and criminal barrister and her 11-year-old daughter have launched a new non-profit organisation intended to help girls and young women drive gender equality and eradicate gender-based violence. 

Sultana Tafadar KC of No5 Barristers’ Chambers, who was the first hijab-wearing criminal barrister to be appointed King’s Counsel last March, has launched Girls Human Rights Hub (GHRH) with her daughter Safiyah to provide resources and training for girls from ages 11 to 24 to use advocacy, leadership and litigation. 

The organisation aims to progress gender equity and the eradication of gender-based violence, “driven by the power of girls themselves”. It focuses on issues including the right to education, right to climate justice, menstrual equity and ending domestic and sexual violence.

Tafadar, who has been working in human rights law since she was called to the Bar in 2005 and has been with No5 Barristers’ Chamber since 2016, commented: “The idea to create this hub came from my daughter. She has always been driven by the desire to become a human rights lawyer and she came up with the idea to create a hub where girls could learn more about their rights and how to claim them.

“As an experienced human rights, international law and criminal barrister, I have seen first-hand the injustices faced by women and girls across the world. Wanting to continue to make a positive change, I thought this was a great idea and rallied a team to make this vision a reality. We now have a hub where girls can join and learn from experts about how to advocate for rights, develop leadership and communication skills and even become part of the new generation of lawyers advancing girls’ human rights worldwide.”

GHRH has been launched with a 10-strong team of lawyers, activists and advocates, including Nadia Motraghi KC, a senior barrister and tenant at Old Square Chambers in London who specialises in employment and discrimination, and Soraya Bouwens, a criminal and international human rights barrister at 1MCB Chambers. 

GHRH provides expertise though four hubs, including one aimed at young lawyers that offers fellowships, training programmes and mentoring to equip them with the skills to litigate for girls’ human rights in international and regional forums.

Meantime the knowledge hub is intended to inform girls of their rights as per international human rights law, enabling them to base their activism on universally recognised principles, while the advocacy hub offers practical help on matters such as campaign planning, lobbying and use of social media to make their advocacy efforts more effective. 

The organisation also offers support to girls in areas including public speaking, negotiation and conflict resolution through its leadership hub, intended to help them “articulate ideas, persuade others and advocate for change in their communities”. 

Safiyah said: “I am so excited to be founding an organisation that will help girls across the world advocate for their rights. I want to become a human rights lawyer when I am older, but I wanted to start work to help other girls now. The Girls Human Rights Hub will help people learn about the rights they deserve and give them the skills they need to lobby for them. I am so excited to see what we can achieve!” 

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