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Honorary Degree for Human Rights Activist Radhika Coomaraswamy

29 June 2010

Radhika Coomaraswamy is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. 

In this capacity, she serves as an independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls affected by armed conflict.

In her reports to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, she has written on violence in the family, violence in the community, violence against women during armed conflict and the problem of international trafficking.  A strong advocate on women's rights, she has intervened on behalf of women throughout the world seeking clarification from governments in cases involving violence against women.

She has also conducted field visits to Japan and Korea on the problem of  "comfort women", Rwanda, Columbia, Haiti and Indonesia with regard to violence against women in war time, Poland, India, Bangladesh and Nepal on the issue of trafficking, the United States on women in prisons, Brazil on domestic violence, and Cuba on violence against women generally.

A lawyer by training, and formerly the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, she is an internationally-respected human rights advocate.

She is to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for services to human rights.