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Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan

1999-2000 Hubert Humphrey Fellow
Head of the Department of Public Law
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Kaduna, Nigeria

By Pat McGroarty
August 3, 2004


1. What was your role at the Human Rights Center, or your involvement with the human rights center?

“I was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow during 1999-2000 from Nigeria. During that time, I had an internship with the Human Rights Center”

2. How did you learn about the Human Rights Center, and how did working with the Center fit in with your academic or career goals?

“I learned about the Center from the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. As a Human Rights Law lecturer in Nigeria before being a Humphrey Fellow, I found working with the Center consistent with and very inspiring to my whole intellectual life, professional development goals and Humphrey Fellowship objectives.”

3. What sparked your personal interest in human rights issues and led you to pursue working and volunteering in that field?

“I have been a Human Rights activist, advocate, researcher, program coordinator and lecturer for the last seventeen years. I personally chose to specialize, as a Ph.D holder in 1997, in Human Rights and Administration of Criminal Justice. To date, human rights issues are part of my greatest concern in life.”

4. What human rights issues are particularly important to you? How do you hope to effect a change in those issues?

“The rights of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, in both peace and conflict situations are of greatest concern to me. I am deeply involved in advocacy, research, and teaching in these areas.”

5. What are you doing now, and how did your time at the Human Rights Center effect that position?

“I am currently the Head of the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law and Senate Member at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Kaduna State of Nigeria. Further, I serve as a member of the Board of Governors and Advisory Board, or Research Consultant to the leading women, children and ECOSOC Rights NGOs in Nigeria, and as the chair of an expert working group that drafted Nigeria's periodic country report on CEDAW and the CRC between 2002 and 2004.”

6. What does the term “human rights” mean to you?

“Human Rights are about the inherent, inalienable, interrelated and universal rights of individuals and groups guaranteed to them under both domestic and international legal frameworks.”

7. What advice would you have for someone hoping to pursue a career in human rights advocacy?

“Human Rights advocacy is about patience, knowledge, skills, strategies and consistency in life.”


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