One of SNAP’s strengths is the depth of expertise in our team, bringing knowledge and experience from across Asia and the Pacific 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 advocacy events 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 - Ms Amihan Abueva, Child Rights Coalition Asia
Ms 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 - Ms Neetu Pokharel, Alliance for Social Dialogue
Ms 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. Legal Identity and legal empowerment is one of the core areas that Neetu has engaged with in Nepal. 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.
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) - Ms Clara Siagian, Puskapa (Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing), University of Indonesia
Ms Clara Siagian is known as a leader on engaging with decision makers and civil society actors to increase awareness as to the importance of civil registration and vital statistics as a human rights and development issue. Ms. Siagian is currently working as a Senior Researcher with Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing, Universitas Indonesia and as a local research lead for the Australian National University, both on the area of children and inclusion policy. Previously with the Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing, she worked on developing the national strategies for CRVS alongside the Ministry of National Planning and a research-based CRVS programs in several areas in Indonesia, partnering with KOMPAK and The Asia Foundation.
Community Engagement - Ms Maalini Ramalo, Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (DHRRA) Malaysia
Ms Maalini Ramalo is the Senior Manager for Social Protection at Development of Human Resources in Rural Area Malaysia (DHRRA Malaysia) . DHRRA Malaysia is currently working to establish a more accurate figure as to stateless populations in West Malaysia. The mapping project has involved a legal assistance component that aims to ensure that stateless persons and persons of undetermined nationality either acquire or are confirmed as citizens of Malaysia through paralegal assistance. DHRRA Malaysia also advocates to the Malaysian Government regarding prevention strategies, such as improving decision makers’ understanding of domestic law with respect to the acquisition of nationality. DHRRA Malaysia has also filed several cases in Malaysian courts with respect to statelessness. For DHRRA Malaysia, litigation presents a dual opportunity to increase public awareness to statelessness in the community and to build jurisprudence on statelessness.
Detention - Ms Vivienne Chew, International Detention Coalition
Ms 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 (Mr) 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 - Mr Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh 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 - Mr Khalid Hussain
Khalid 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