Manissha Kaur Gurubachan Singh

Human Rights Practice MA student

I am an aspiring Master's student with a deep-rooted passion for Human Rights Practice. Over the years, I have immersed myself in various facets of human rights work, shaping my academic and professional journey.

My primary area of interest lies in Women's Rights, stemming from my dedicated work with an NGO in Malaysia for the last 6 years. This organization is at the forefront of the battle to eliminate violence against women and attain gender equality. Witnessing the stark realities of gender-based violence in my country has fueled my commitment to addressing this issue and advocating for women's rights. I am equally passionate about Children's Rights, which aligns with my NGO's mission to combat child marriages in Malaysia. This pursuit has shown me the importance of safeguarding the rights and well-being of the youngest members of our society, and I aim to deepen my knowledge and expertise in this vital area.

Additionally, I have a keen interest in Refugee Rights, an area often overlooked in Malaysia due to the absence of legal recognition for refugees. Collaborating closely with UNHCR, particularly in handling cases of sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV), has exposed me to the profound injustices that refugees face in my country. I have actively engaged in awareness-raising efforts to shed light on these issues, and I am eager to explore this subject further to contribute meaningfully to the rights of refugees.

As I embark on this Master's program, my goal is firstly to expand and fortify my current skill set, allowing me to become a more effective advocate for human rights. Secondly, I aspire to gain comprehensive insights into the inner workings of NGOs and their strategic approaches as I will be managing an emergency shelter for SGBV survivors moving forward. Thirdly, I intend to deepen my knowledge in the areas of mentioned above, building a robust foundation for my future endeavors. This program presents an invaluable opportunity for me to grow as a human rights practitioner and make a lasting impact in the field.

I have previously completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology and then went on to work with domestic violence survivors in Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) in Malaysia. I have worked with them for 3 years and along the way we started expanding our areas of services to all SGBV survivors. As a social worker, I walked alongside survivors, helping them to navigate the justice system and access services from various agencies, including the police, hospitals, welfare department, courts, etc. I also advocated for survivors when they faced obstacles in the process of seeking justice. In the year 2020, I then took on the role of Head of Case Management in WAO. In this role, I oversee the social workers team and each survivors’ case they undertake. I also monitor, evaluate and report on service impact, develop new strategies and activities to enhance impact, identify systemic gaps and propose corrective strategies, policies, procedures and tools.