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Panel Discussion, Human Rights Day 2012 - My Voice Counts
10 Dec 2012 -  PANLE DISCUSSION PARTICIPANTSMODERATORIMOGEN FOULKES has been the BBC’s Correspondent in Geneva since 2004 and has previously worked for Swiss Radio International and for Scottish Television. As part of her work, she has reported on a variety of humanitarian crises and post-conflict situations in Bosnia, Colombia, Haiti, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan and South Ossetia.

LAURA DUPUY LASSERRE is President of the Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Prior to her appointment to Geneva, Ms. Dupuy Lasserre had been serving as Director of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in her country. As a career diplomat, she has worked at the Directorate of Environment and as the delegate of Uruguay to the United Nations Office and International Organizations at Geneva.

NAVI PILLAY has been the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights since September 2008. Ms. Pillay, a South African national, was the first woman to start a law practice in her home province of Natal in 1967. She defended anti-apartheid activists, exposing torture, and helping establish key rights for prisoners on Robben Island. Ms. Pillay is a former judge on the South African High Court, on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and on the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI is Chair of the Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee of the Lower House of the Myanmar Parliament and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy. Ms. Suu Kyi, who is known globally for her campaign for democracy, has received numerous international awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990. She has spent more than 15 years in detention, most of it under house arrest, and was released in November 2010.

SOUHAYR BELHASSEN, the President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), is a Tunisian activist, journalist and writer who has covered human rights issues with an emphasis on women’s rights. Ms. Belhassen is a participant in a global context in public life, campaigning specifically for the rights of the excluded, especially women in Tunisia, but also through her mandate as President of the FIDH, notably in Iran, Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, Colombia, DR Congo, Iran, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

FRANCIS KARIUKI is the administrative chief of the village of Lanet Umoja, Nakuru North District in Kenya. He uses Twitter as a tool for community policing, neighborhood watch and crime-reporting activities. Recognizing that most households have access to a mobile telephone, Mr. Kariuki uses texts and tweets to promote participation and inclusion in his neighborhood and to improve village life. Lanet Umoja is about 100 miles west of the capital, Nairobi.

VALERIU NICOLAE from Romania works with a number of organizations active in the field of social inclusion and human rights. He founded and leads the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, a think tank based in Romania, and has been involved in grassroots initiatives in the ghettoes of Bucharest. Mr. Nicolae is a former director of the European Roma Information Office, and founder of the European Roma Grassroots Movement.

VICTORIA JOSEPH is a Haitian violinist and violist who started at the age of three with her father Romel Joseph. At seven, she became the youngest member of the Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra in Port-au-Prince. She studied violin with Miriam Fried at Indiana University at Bloomington and viola at the University of Miami. Ms. Joseph is also executive assistant for the Walenstein Musical Organization and Friends of Music Education for Haiti.