South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy


Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy is a lawyer, academic, internationally recognized human rights advocate and former UN Special Representative.

Some significant positions include:

2017: Member of UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar and a member of the Secretary General’s Board of Advisors on Mediation.

2015-2018: A member of the Constitutional Council, Sri Lanka

2014: led the global study to review the 15-year implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

2006 – 2012: UN Under Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

2003 – 2006: Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

1994 – 2003: UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and an independent expert attached to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva

As an academic, she is a Global Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. She received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University, an LL.M. from Harvard University and honorary PhDs from Amherst College, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the University of Edinburgh, University of Ulster, the University of Essex and the CUNY School of Law, amongst others. She is the winner of many awards, including the International Law Award of the American Bar Association, the Human Rights Award of the International Human Rights Law Group, the Bruno Kreisky Award of 2000, the Leo Ettinger Human Rights Prize of the University of Oslo, Archbishop Oscar Romero Award of the University of Dayton, the William J. Butler Award from the University of Cincinnati, and the Robert S. Litvack Award from McGill University.