Shalya Rajathurai Volunteers to Support Human Rights

Shalya Rajathurai worked as a civil litigation attorney in Malaysia and Singapore before relocating to Minneapolis in March last year when she got married. Volunteering has always been an integral part of her life, so she was eager to find a volunteer role in Minnesota. Her husband had previously volunteered for CVT, so she called to offer her services. After being connected with the New Tactics in Human Rights program, Shalya started writing summaries of the online conversations for human rights defenders. “These conversations on selected human rights topics are simply brilliant,” said Shalya. “The New Tactics website gives human rights activists a platform to exchange ideas and express their views to a global audience. This gives hope to activists who may be struggling alone in a remote part of the world.” Shalya has also researched and written summaries of tactics that advance human rights causes around the world. She was impressed with a tactic by Ujamaa Africa that lowered the number of rapes among schoolchildren in Nairobi. By writing a summary of the tactic and sharing it on the New Tactics website, other activists can try a similar approach to ending endemic rape. To support the online dialogues, Shalya has also helped identify experts to lead the conversations. “CVT is a great organization, and with the current mass displacement of people, CVT’s niche expertise in rehabilitative care is needed more than ever,” said Shalya. “And to complement that work, New Tactics gives hope to human rights activists and organizations who are most often isolated with a limited range of tactics available. I feel privileged to play a small role in the organization.”

Courtesy Center for Victims of Torture's "The Storycloth" Newsletter, February 2016, Volume 26, Issue 1