my skills, knowledge & experience

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May 2017

I was born in a United Nations refugee camp in Pakistan as my Kurdish family escaped persecution in our home land of Kurdistan. At the age of 6 my family was resettled in New Zealand. Arriving with nothing, I have sought to use my difficult start in life as motivation to succeed recently becoming New Zealand’s first Kurdish female lawyer. With a passion for human rights, I hope to focus my legal career on fighting for justice and equality for underprivileged and marginalised people. I have already started working on this through my role as a global refugee youth advocate and a youth advisor to the New Zealand Red Cross. In 2016 I represented New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations, the UNHCR-NGO Consultations, and the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges of Children on the Move, all in Geneva, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Conference in Bangkok, the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen and the OECD Forum in Paris. I am currently working on projects for refugee youth in New Zealand’s main centres and will assist the Red Cross in the planning and co-chairing the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement later this year. I work in corporate litigation at New Zealand’s premier law firm, Chapman Tripp, and have previously worked at the United Nations Office in Nairobi as a human rights intern. I am passionate about supporting young refugees through ‘Empower’ – a mentoring and support programme I have recently founded to try and address the underrepresentation of refugee students in tertiary education as I believe education is pivotal to changing the future for refugees. I am committed to ensuring that the plight of settling new New Zealanders is easier than it was for my family.  

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