Abul Hasnat Monjurul Kabir, an international human rights lawyer, is UNDP’s Rule of Law, Human Rights and Justice Adviser and Team Leader for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) based in the Bratislava Regional Centre. As part of his responsibility, he manages a regional portfolio of Rule of Law, human rights, justice and legal empowerment initiatives and projects for the Europe and the CIS region. As a parliamentary development specialist, he is the regional focal point for UNDP’s legislative strengthening work in the region.
Mr. Kabir, a frequent public speaker in global and regional forums, advocates for greater integration of rule of law issues and social inclusion of disadvantaged groups and marginalized communities (i.e., women, persons with disabilities, minorities, people living with HIV etc.) into justice delivery mechanisms and national human rights systems. In 2013, he launched HuRiLab [innovating for Rule of Law, Justice and Human Rights], a new initiative to deepen civic and youth engagements in development projects. Last year, Mr. Kabir also pioneered legal aid assessment through Legal Aid for Justice [LAJ] initiative. In 2012, he initiated a new and innovative business line for human rights, the Universal Periodic Review Support Facility (UPR-F), to support UNDP offices and national partners in implementing agreed-upon UPR-related human rights and justice recommendations.
Previously, Mr. Kabir worked with UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy in New York as Policy Specialist for Democratic Governance and Knowledge Management from 2006 to 2010. He served in UNDP Afghanistan as Legislative Adviser from 2005 to 2006 in UNDP Kathmandu and Bangkok Sub-regional Resource Facility as Expert Practitioner for Asia-Pacific Access to Justice Initiative and in UNDP Bangladesh as Programme Manager/Specialist from 2002 to 2003, and Team Leader/Head of Governance for the period 2003–2005.
Mr. Kabir played a pioneering role in initiating the breakthrough Police Reform Programme and Human Security Initiative with a Criminal Justice Sector Reform Agenda in Bangladesh. Together with the Afghan Parliament and international partners, he led the UN initiative to develop the legislative framework for the new Afghan National Assembly which was inaugurated in 2005. As part of the core group responsible for drafting United Nations Secretary-General’s Guidance Note on Democracy (pdf), Mr. Kabir represented UNDP throughout 2008-09 in drafting and policy deliberations. He played key role in articulating UNDP’s position in the United Nations Secretary-General’s 2009 report on new and restored democracy (pdf).
Prior to working for the UN/UNDP, Mr. Kabir was the Law Editor from 2000 to 2002 for The Daily Star (Bangladesh). In that capacity, he was credited to establish the first-ever specialized and full-fledged Law and Human Rights desk in any South Asian newspaper. His writings focused on constitutional freedom, democracy, human rights, access to justice, legal and judicial reforms. As a Human Rights Adviser for a local civil society organization, he developed the first generation capacity development programme for human rights defenders following UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration. He played an active role in South and Southeast Asian human rights education and election monitoring networks. Mr. Kabir authored numerous research articles in international research journals and analytical papers in the areas of democracy, governance, justice and human rights.
Mr. Kabir, currently a PhD candidate in Politics and a former Chevening Scholar, received his LLM in International Human Rights Law with distinction from the University of Essex, UK.