Shifana is the Director of Advocacy Department at the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM). She works with people from all sectors including the public, officials, school communities and NGOs/CSO’s on a range of issues; including women’s rights and gender equality, business and human rights, migrant worker’s rights, and children’s rights.
At HRCM, the advocacy and educational programs are targeted to young children and youth focusing on creating awareness of their rights, and imparting knowledge and skills required to stand up for the rights of others. Through collaborations with the Ministry of Education, HRCM has successfully incorporated human rights into the national curriculum.
“Empowering young people is very crucial in building a society that respects human rights.”
HRCM has prepared materials for the protection of the rights of migrant workers, ‘know your rights’ in five different languages for dissemination among migrant workers in the Maldives. HRCM is preparing an information card for migrant workers, to be handed on arrival.
From 2016, HRCM is also working on the ‘business and human rights strategy’ and so far, five companies have signed a business and human rights pledge. Shifana believes that more companies will be signing the pledge in 2017. As part of the strategy, HRCM organised awareness sessions for the top-level management of the businesses signing the pledge.
Shifana participated in DTP’s migrant workers’ programs in 2014 and 2016. She came back as a trainer and shared her experience, knowledge and skills with the participants of the migrant workers’ program in Bangladesh in 2016.
“The training programs organised by DTP on human rights advocacy have contributed to my work as a human rights advocate.”
Shifana reflects that the DTP programs have had positive impacts, contributing to her work for human rights and her career.
“I am in touch with the trainers and alumni of DTP training programs. The network and connections have helped me to learn from their ideas and their success stories while we plan our own advocacy and education programs.”