Ms. Isha DYFAN, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia


Isha Dyfan

Ms. Isha Dyfan, a Sierra Leonean national, was appointed as the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia by the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2020. Prior to her appointment, she was the Director of International Advocacy at Amnesty International.

Before joining Amnesty International in April 2018, Ms. Dyfan was the Chief of the Human Rights Section in the United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID) where she served for four and a half years before retiring at the level of director.

She is a Barrister-at-Law and educated in Sierra Leone and the UK where she studied History and Law respectively. Since qualifying as a lawyer Ms. Dyfan practiced law in Sierra Leone for 13 years. She worked for International women’s NGOs in New York for seven years on women, peace and security issues before joining the United Nations in 2004. At the United Nations, she served in three peacekeeping missions, UNMIL, UNMIS and UNAMID between 2004 and 2010 before joining the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as Senior Human Rights Officer responsible for the coordination of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Section in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms. Dyfan has contributed to many major publications on Women, Peace and Security issues such as the Secretary General’s 2002 report, UNIFEM’s report 2002, UNIFEM DDR report 2004 and the DCAF report “Women in an Insecure World” to name a few. In 2004 she was appointed one of 12 experts to draft the guidelines on gender issues for use during peace negotiations. The report was adopted by the UN Commission on the Status of Women during its 2004 session. She was one of the activists who successfully advocated for the passing of the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in 2000.

During her more than thirty years professional career, Ms. Dyfan has developed expertise on thematic issues ranging from good governance, human rights and humanitarian law and is also a specialist on women peace and security issues.