One of SNAP’s strengths is the depth of expertise in our team, bringing knowledge and experience from various disciplines and areas of practice. This includes grassroots community-based organisations that support stateless populations to acquire and confirm nationality, national and regional NGOs that pursue strategic advocacy on the right to nationality, academics with expertise in law, sociology and political science, practising lawyers that challenge administrative decisions that render individuals and populations stateless, and most importantly stateless persons and formerly stateless persons raising the voices of their communities.
Our Focal Points represent SNAP at relevant global, regional and national engagements and advise SNAP’s Coordinator and Governance Board on the development of SNAP's activities with reference to specific themes relevant to addressing statelessness.
Children - Amihan Abueva, Child Rights Coalition Asia
Amihan Abueva has been known internationally as a child rights advocate for more than 20 years. She has been instrumental in mainstreaming child protection issues, and strengthening national and international legal frameworks to ensure children are protected from all forms of violence, particularly trafficking and sexual exploitation. Through her various roles and extensive experience, she has a strong appreciation of cultural diversity and a unique perspective on the challenges faced by children in the Southeast Asia/ASEAN region. Amihan is currently the Regional Executive Director of Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia), a regional network of child rights and human-rights focused organisations in Asia. In this role, her focus is to implement the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Children. Prior to this, she spent more than a decade as the Regional Coordinator of Asia Against Child Trafficking (Asia ACTs), a regional network of NGOs in Southeast Asia advancing the rights of children, especially those on the move and trafficked children. Amihan was a member of SNAP’s Organising Committee.
Gender and Equal Nationality Rights - Neetu Pokharel, Alliance for Social Dialogue
Neetu Pokharel is a human rights professional and activist working with the Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD), Nepal. Neetu supports the work of national and community organizations to promote access to justice and legal empowerment, with a focus on women, Dalit and other marginalized groups. She works to strengthen the capacity of community paralegals and legal aid organizations who assist community members to access citizenship and other legal identity documents. She has contributed to research on legal identity in Nepal and has also been engaged in policy advocacy, campaigns and research related to statelessness in Nepal. Neetu holds her Masters in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) from University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka and Tribhuwan University (TU), Nepal.
Peaceful and Inclusive Communities - Manzoor Hasan OBE, Centre for Peace and Justice, BRAC University, Bangladesh
Manzoor Hasan OBE is a public policy reform specialist with nearly two decades of experience in capacity building and institutional strengthening aimed at strengthening governance in Bangladesh. Manzoor is a lawyer-cum-economist trained at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London School of Economics. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace and Justice at BRAC University. He was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) (now BRAC Institute of Governance & Development) within BRAC University in 2005. Previously he worked as the Deputy Executive Director, BRAC, the largest NGO in the world. He also was the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of Transparency International, Berlin, Germany and was previously the Founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003). Manzoor was awarded the Officer of Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his work on transparency.
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) - Clara Siagian, Puskapa (Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing), University of Indonesia
Clara Siagian is recognised as a leader on engaging with decision makers and civil society actors as to the importance of CRVS as a human rights and development issue. Clara is currently working on a research project with Indonesian Ministry of Planning and Development on Civil Registration and Basic Services as part of her role as the Technical Associate for Birth Registration with PUSKAPA (Centre on Child Protection and Wellbeing, University of Indonesia). She is also a member of Suaka, the Indonesian Civil Society Network for Refugee Rights Protection. Previously, Clara worked with the World Bank on disability mapping in Eastern Indonesia.
Detention - Vivienne Chew, International Detention Coalition
Vivienne Chew is the Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator for the International Detention Coalition (IDC), based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has spent more than a decade working with refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly in countries of first asylum. Currently she is also the Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network’s (APRRN) Immigration Detention Working Group. She successfully established and managed legal aid programs for urban refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand and Tanzania. Vivienne has a Law degree from the University of Cardiff, Wales, and a Masters in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. She is a qualified lawyer in England and Wales, where she worked as a corporate finance lawyer before practicing refugee law.
Evidence-based Advocacy - Professor Chowdhury Abrar, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka
Professor Abrar is the Executive Director at the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) and Professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. For more than a decade he has conducted research and engaged in advocacy and public interest litigation on behalf of Rohingya communities and the camp-dwelling Urdu speaking community in Bangladesh.
SNAP's Governance Board is comprised of seven experts who provide strategic direction on the development of SNAP. The contact details for our Governance Board's President and Vice-President are below.
President - Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh Kumar formerly acted as the General Manager for Social Participation and International Humanitarian Affairs at AMES Australia. Ramesh’s role was to ensure that AMES Australia continues and intensifies its work in humanitarian and refugee policy discussions locally and internationally. He was responsible for the implementation of AMES Australia’s Social Participation Strategy that works to increase and facilitate the social and economic contribution of AMES Australia clients. He was also entrusted with the responsibility to provide strategic leadership as well as developing and overseeing implementation of the AMES Australia Respect and Responsibility Program designed to prevent violence against women and their children (PVAW) in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. He provided high level representation at government, community and international levels. Ramesh's credentials can be best described as having a long and successful career in Community and Human Services for over 25 years with local, state, commonwealth governments, UN and NGOs in Australia and overseas. firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-President - Khalid Hussain
Khalid Hussain is a human rights lawyer and the Founder and Chief Executive of the Council of Minorities, a Bangladesh community-based organisation. Khalid belongs to the Bihari Urdu-speaking linguistic minority, a formerly stateless community in Bangladesh, and has worked on statelessness issues on behalf of the Bihari community since 1999. In June 2013, the Council of Minorities and Namati jointly started a community based paralegal project with the Bihari community in June 2013. Through this project, 16 trained camp-based youth paralegals assist Bihari-Urdu speaking community members to obtain citizenship and other relevant documentation. This includes assisting community members to obtain birth and death certificates, ‘citizens character certificates’, Bangladeshi National Identity Cards, passports and trade licenses. email@example.com
Strategic Advisor - Grant Mitchell
As SNAP’s Strategic Advisor, Grant is focused on supporting the further development of SNAP’s strategic planning and priority setting in the areas of governance, advocacy, operations, partnerships and resources. Grant has extensive experience in international refugee and asylum policy, including working with civil society, UN bodies and governments in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East on the development and implementation of alternatives to immigration detention and case management models for vulnerable populations. Grant is the Board Director of the Australian-based NGO Uniting Victoria and Tasmania, and served for 10 years as the Director of the International Detention Coalition (IDC) until 2018. He has previously worked with Swedish Migration Board and for the Australian Red Cross. Grant sits on the tripartite Asia Forced Migration Dialogue, is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network and sat on various government committees including the US Family Case Management Reference Committee. He won the Australian Human Rights Award in 2002, and was nominated for the 2004 French Human Rights Prize for his work with women and children in immigration detention. Grant is a social anthropologist in international migration (Stockholm University), and is a PhD candidate at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.
Project Lead - Maalini Ramalo
As SNAP’s Project Lead on Community Engagement, Maalini supports the implementation of SNAP’s community engagement activities. To date, this has focused on legal empowerment approaches to addressing statelessness in India and Myanmar. Maalini is also the Director of DHRRA Malaysia, a Malaysian NGO which has been working to address statelessness in Malaysia since 2007. This included a project with UNHCR from 2014 to 2016 which mapped and supported affected populations in Peninsular Malaysia to acquire or confirm Malaysian citizenship. As DHRRA Malaysia’s Director Maalini is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the organisation’s strategic planning and activities. Her roles with SNAP and DHRRA Malaysia rely on her widely acknowledged ability to build and strengthen relationships with a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, government representatives, NGOs and affected communities.
Project Lead - Kamrun Nahar
Kamrun Nahar leads SNAP's engagement with our members working to address statelessness in South Asia. Kamrun is a human rights lawyer and for the last 23 years has worked with Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) and Naripokkho, Bangladesh focusing on the promotion of human rights. This has included implementing large scale legal aid programmes, conducting research on violence against women and children, advocacy for law and policy reform and formulation, and facilitating capacity building trainings for various stakeholders. She also provides legal advice and counselling to marginalised populations in Bangladesh.
Project Lead - Lalita Yawangsan
Lalita Yawangsan leads SNAP's engagement with its members working to address statelessness in South-East Asia. Lalita Yawangsan is also the Program Coordinator for ADRA Thailand’s Statelessness Reduction and Community Sensitization Project. The project began in partnership with UNHCR Thailand in 2015, and serves approximately 28,000 stateless individuals, the majority of whom are ethnic minorities. Operating in 13 service points in the north of Thailand, ADRA staff work closely with the Legal Status Network and the Royal Thai Government to prepare and process Thai citizenship applications. Lalita has extensive experience working with refugees and stateless communities, worked in refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border for six years before joining ADRA.