urmila bhoola1

Urmila Bhoola

Rights Lab Principal Research and Policy Fellow in Global Antislavery


Urmila Bhoola works in the Rights Lab’s Law and Policy Programme on modern slavery and human rights in national, regional, and international policy, as well as in practice. This includes a focus on connecting research and antislavery advocacy, working with States, international institutions, and civil society, as well as developing new frameworks for tracking government progress towards SDG 8.7. Bhoola served two terms as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences (2014-2020), presenting reports on modern slavery issues and challenges to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, and conducting country visits to assess national policies and institutions, consult with civil society, determine whether the country complied with its international obligations, and develop antislavery policy solutions. Among many notable accomplishments, she has also served as an Acting Judge of the High Court of South Africa, Executive Director of International Womens’ Rights Action Watch for the Asia Pacific, National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights, a Judge in the Labour Court of South Africa, and is a qualified attorney. Bhoola was named by UK Prime Minister Theresa May as a global thought leader on modern slavery, and in the Rights Lab is continuing her work to hold States accountable to their antislavery commitments. 


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