Navi Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Navanethem “Navi” Pillay has been the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2008. In 1995, she was the first non-white woman judge of the High Court of South Africa. She served as President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as a judge of the International Criminal Court. During her 28 years as a lawyer in South Africa, she defended anti-Apartheid activists and helped expose the use of torture and poor conditions of political detainees. She co-founded the Advice Desk for the Abused and ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence. As a member of the Women’s National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion in South Africa’s Constitution of an equality clause.