Ivar is based in Geneva, with a particular focus on human rights in Central Asia.
Ivar spent years seeing human rights violations up close in some of the world’s most repressive countries. From Geneva, our Central Asia expert tries to make sure they’re also seen by the outside world.
Ivar started out as an activist with our friends in Amnesty International in the early 90s. He became a full-time devotee of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in 2006, when he moved to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to open our first Representative Office in the region.
Ivar came to the NHC with a long-standing obsession with the former Soviet Union, having studied and travelled extensively in Russia and the Caucasus before taking on NHC’s human rights work in Central Asia. In 2015, Ivar moved from his post in Almaty, Kazakhstan to Geneva, where he continues to work on human rights issues in Eurasia, but now with a twist of the UN.
Being part of this vast international human rights community is a very special thing
“Every day, I interact with people from across a region that I deeply care about, and often think of them as friends rather than partners or colleagues. You’re never done learning in this job, not about human rights or about the region. Whether it’s Ukraine in the west or Tajikistan in the east, change is continuous and you just have to try and keep up. Working in the NHC can be all-consuming, but it’s a great privilege to play a small part in all that change.”
Before joining the NHC, Ivar worked for several years on asylum cases in the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, particularly Chechnya, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. He also has experience as a receptionist, sandwich-maker, bookseller, telemarketer, barista, low-grade tax archive official and freelance journalist. Ivar studied Russian, English and Political Science at the Universities of Oslo and St. Petersburg.
Related to Ivar
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