Brigitte Dufour is the Director of International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR). She oversees the management and operations of the organisation, represents the organisation in international fora, and takes the lead on fundraising and programme and partnership development. Based in Brussels, she is ideally placed to carry out advocacy before the EU institutions.
A human rights lawyer, Brigitte holds diplomas in Law and in Linguistics and Russian Studies from the University of Montréal (Canada). She is a member of the Québec Bar (Canada). She began her legal career in the field of intellectual property and soon moved to international human rights law, an interest she developed during study visits to countries of the former Soviet bloc. Through her work for the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights – where she became the deputy director and legal counsel – she led several international human rights projects and carried out numerous missions in the field, closely observing human rights developments and working together with local human rights advocates on various key issues in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Brigitte possesses extensive experience in international advocacy, having represented human rights groups before UN bodies, the Council of Europe, European Union institutions, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She has contributed to numerous human rights publications.
Simon Papuashvili joined IPHR’s Brussels team in 2012. He initially worked as a project coordinator, managing projects implemented in cooperation with partner groups. In 2017, he became Programme Director and is now in charge of programme development, management, and oversight, together with IPHR’s Director.
Simon has been active in promoting human rights in his native South Caucasus for over a decade, practicing law since 2001. In 2004 -2006, he worked for the Georgian government, coordinating prison reform and representing the government before the European Court of Human Rights. In 2008, he was actively engaged in documenting human rights violations committed during the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia and in advocating alongside the Norwegian Helsinki Committee to end impunity in the region. In 2014, Simon co-established Truth Hounds – a Ukrainian initiative that has since being engaged in thorough documentation of grave human rights abuses and international crimes committed in Ukraine’s Donbas region and Crimea. This work is being carried out in close collaboration with IPHR. Simon also sits in the board of Tbilisi Shelter City, an initiative working on rehabilitation, professional development, and support to human rights defenders from the former Soviet Union region.
Christelle joined IPHR’s team in 2019. She has extensive working experience in financial management for the non-profit sector in Belgium, as well as in Africa.
Before joining IPHR, Christelle worked for Axyom as a senior consultant. She has expertise in finance and internal control, as well as coaching and training in financial topics related to NGO financial management.
Christelle holds a Master’s degree in Human and Social Sciences from the Free University of Brussels (ULB).
Nana Katchashvili joined IPHR’s team as a Project Officer in January 2019. She assists with project administration and coordination. Previously, she worked with the US Embassy in Georgia on several projects and also managed programmes at various non-governmental organisations.
Nana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management and she is currently completing a Master’s degree in Education at Ilia State University. In 2018, she was a visiting student at the University of Tartu (Estonia). She is also a FLEX programme alumna.
Tamar Beria joined IPHR’s team in January 2019 as a Project Officer in the Tbilisi office. She assists with project administration and coordination. Tamar holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from Tbilisi State University and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of Essex.
Tamar has experience working with both Georgian and international non-governmental organisations in human rights advocacy, women’s rights, legal research, project management, leadership, and youth work. She is committed to the idea of universal human rights and is passionate about promoting principles of gender equality and non-discrimination through activism, international cooperation, and development.
Thoma Sukhashvili joined IPHR’s team as a Project Assistant in September 2019. He assists with project administration and coordination.
Thoma is currently completing a Master’s in Applied Psychology at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). Previously, he worked with the US Embassy in Georgia and also managed programmes at various non-governmental organisations. His areas of research are nationalism, ethnic conflicts, and human rights. He is also active in photojournalism.
Strategic Litigation Coordinator
Mari Kurtanidze joined IPHR’s team in April 2020 as Strategic Litigation Coordinator. Mari holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Caucasus University, a Master’s degree in European and International Human Rights Law from Leiden University, and a Master’s in Gender, Society, and Representation from University College London. She is also a Chevening scholar.
Mari has worked for both Georgian and international human rights organisations in the past and was recently elected Gender Rapporteur for 2020-2021 for the Council of Europe’s Joint Council on Youth. Mari is a board member of the International LGBTQI Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO), the largest LGBTQI youth network in the world. Previously, she worked as a strategic litigation lawyer at Union Sapari, a women’s rights organisation in Georgia, where she litigated cases before national and international human rights mechanisms. As an eco-queer feminist activist, Mari is committed to fighting structural and systemic inequalities and oppression through various forms of activism.
Svitlana Valko is responsible for project management, coordination of emergency measures, and general protection. She is a specialist in the documentation of war crimes, gross violations of human rights, and crimes against humanity. She is also a security trainer.
For 12 years Svitlana worked in the public health sector, specifically with vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). In 2014, she became Field Coordinator for IPHR’s mission in Ukraine, helping to organise the documentation of war crimes. She is one of the founders of the NGO Truth Hounds, a Ukrainian initiative that has since conducted thorough documentation work related to grave human rights abuses and international crimes committed in Ukraine’s Donbas region and Crimea. In 2016, Truth Hounds expanded its work outside of Ukraine, opening an office in Georgia. Svitlana is also a co-founder of the Tbilisi Shelter City programme, a relocation and rehabilitation project for at-risk human rights defenders (HRDs); Svitlana was coordinator of the programme for three years, helping HRDs, activists, and journalists cope with the risks and threats their work poses in EECA.
Svitlana is a security trainer and has a wealth of expertise related to emergency and crisis response initiatives.
Matt originally joined IPHR’s team as an advocacy assistant in September 2021. He now works on developing publications and written communications. He is also a member of IPHR’s Editorial Board.
Matt holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and a Bachelor’s in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Exeter. Prior to joining IPHR, Matt was involved in political activism in the UK and later worked as an English teacher in France.
He speaks English and French and is learning Russian.
Sopio Gogsadze joined IPHR’s team in October 2020 as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist.
Sopio holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tbilisi State University and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Research and Study on Eastern Europe from the University of Bologna.
Before joining IPHR, Sopio worked with both Georgian and international organisations in the fields of youth, non-formal education, project management, and leadership. In addition, she has played the role of facilitator in a number of dialogue projects in the South Caucasus aimed at developing non-violent interactions between conflict stakeholders.
Sopio speaks Georgian, English, and Russian. Her main topic of interest is re-examining the past in former Soviet countries.
Financial Assistant and Project Officer
Tatiana joined IPHR’s team as Financial Assistant and Project Officer in September 2021. She assists the financial manager and contributes to project work.
Tatiana holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law from Strasbourg Faculty of Law, as well as a Master’s in Project Management from Montpellier Faculty of Political Science.
Prior to joining IPHR’s team, Tatiana completed an internship in IPHR’s Tbilisi office as a Project Coordination Assistant. Earlier, she volunteered for various non-profit organisations in the fields of the rights of the child and access to culture. In addition to her work at IPHR, she currently volunteers for a non-profit organisation raising money for water development projects through cultural events around Europe.
Communications and Advocacy Officer
Maryna Zastavna first joined IPHR’s team in 2015. She works on communications and advocacy.
Maryna holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine), a Master’s degree in International Business, Economics, and Management from the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL – Belgium), and a Master’s degree in European Integration from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has also studied EU-Ukraine Relations at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany).
Prior to joining IPHR’s team in Brussels, Maryna completed an internship with IPHR and volunteered with IPHR’s Ukraine field mission. Previously she worked with the non-profit Ukraine Crisis Media Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine.
She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, and German.
Advisor on International Accountability
Anastasiya Donets has worked at IPHR as an Advisor on International Accountability since July 2021. She specialises in monitoring gross human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Together with IPHR’s partner Global Diligence, she drafts joint submissions to international judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms, including to the International Criminal Court and targeted sanctions mechanisms, as well as on cases subjects to universal jurisdiction.
Anastasiya holds a Master’s degree in Law and a PhD in International Law from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Ukraine).
Prior to joining IPHR’s team, Anastasiya worked in Kyiv as an analyst with the Ukrainian human rights NGO CrimeaSOS, from 2019 to 2021. From 2017 to 2019, Anastasiya was an Assistant Professor in the International Law Department at Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Anastasiya speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, and German.
Dr Krassimir Kanev
Member of the Board
Dr Krassimir Kanev is a human rights specialist at the University of Columbia and a Professor of Philosophy at Sofia University. He has broad experience as a professor, teaching in international human rights courses at Sofia University, as well as teaching other disciplines in various colleges and universities in Bulgaria and internationally.
Dr Kanev’s career in human rights began in 1988, when he became an activist in a number of human rights and environmental NGOs. He has also played an active role in training NGOs and other bodies on monitoring human rights. In addition, he has assisted both individuals and human rights NGOs in bringing cases to the European Court of Human Rights and UN bodies and has successfully represented clients before these bodies in a variety of human rights cases.
He has been part of many human rights organisations and other institutions, has published many books and articles on a variety of human rights issues, and was among the founders of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, as well as being a member of the Executive Committee of the International Helsinki Federation on Human Rights. He also sat on the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, the Board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, and the Board of Trustees of the Public Interest Law Network. In 2015, he became a member of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.