Across the world, people are prosecuted for their religious beliefs. Palak Rao and Liv Hernæs Kvanvig are a part of the secretariat for the network International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB), at the NHC. Together with Mar’yana Haydanka, they will guide this transnational network of over 200 parliamentarians from more than 45 countries, who promote and protect the freedom of thought, belief and religion globally. It is no small test that they have taken on.
“It is amazing to get the opportunity to work in depth with such an exciting and challenging field of work, and with actors who have power and opportunity to a positive development”, says Liv Hernæs Kvanvig, who has taken over Ed Brown’s position as coordinator for the network of parliamentarians.
Even before her first day of work, she had been on trips to Oxford and Washington in connection with the project.
Liv Hernæs Kvanvig has 15 years of experience working with human rights for the Norwegian Center for Human Rights and the Norwegian Human Rights Fund, amongst others.
“We have high expectations from Liv Kvanvig as Coordinator, and Palak Rao as Communications Adviser will perform as new employees within the IPPFoRB secretariat”, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the NHC.
We have high expectations from Liv Kvanvig as Coordinator, and Palak Rao as Communications Adviser will perform as new employees within the IPPFoRB secretariat
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General
Wants to make a difference
Palak Rao is currently handing in her masters degree in human rights at the University in Oslo, and is employed in the newly established position as Communication and Advocacy Adviser for IPPFoRB.
“I wished to work with an organization where I felt that I would make a difference in many lives, and the work that the NHC does is vital to protect, defend and promote human rights”, Palak Rao says about her motivation for her beginning at the NHC.
“With the rise of religious persecution and violence across the world, I see IPPFoRB as the driving force in the field of human rights and freedom of religion and belief”, says Rao.
Hernæs Kvanvig shares Rao’s perception and motivation.
“The situation for freedom of religion or belief is difficult in many countries, and human rights activists work under difficult and at times dangerous conditions in many parts of the world, and they need support. From earlier work with human rights I had the impression that the NHC was a solid and serious actor”, says Hernæs Kvanvig.