Elisabeth Abiri, 20 July 2010
University of Gothenburg

My name is Elisabeth Abiri and I am a committed professional with extensive knowledge and experience across different areas of human rights implementation. The designer of an interdisciplinary institute for the study of human rights and the chair person of the government appointed delegation for human rights in Sweden, I demonstrate a strong ability to make human rights a core concern for organisations and persons.

During the last decade I have worked with national and international dimensions of human rights implementation with Sweden as my main base.

In my work as a chair person for the government appointed Delegation for Human Rights in Sweden and as a university lecturer in human rights I have gained great experience in initiating, implementing and evaluating human rights activities. I am pedagogically trained and experienced in developing training material, methods and courses focusing on human rights implementation.

I have functioned both as team leader/director and member of teams all through my work life and am used to changing roles depending on the situation.

Most of my experience is developed within a Swedish context but it is my firm belief that it is applicable on international arenas as well. Swedish understanding of human rights work on the local and regional level is rudimentary at best and the need to convince public officials of the use of human rights is as high – or even higher – than in many international settings. Furthermore I am experienced in discussing and developing human rights issues in international groups and diverse settings, enabling me to plan and carry out activities internationally. I also have experience from planning and teaching human rights in Kosovo, Mozambique and Israel/Palestine.

In my experience, human rights law has to be implemented in institutional and organisational work in order to be effective and ultimately change the lives of human beings around the world. The challenge is to make human rights relevant in the everyday work of agencies and public sector on all levels. If not, human rights will remain the focus of speeches rather than practice.

I hold a Ph.D. in Peace and Development Research.

I would very much have liked to have met you. Your experience, knowledge and insight is extremely interesting.