Radhika Coomaraswamy was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in April 2006. She was reappointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in February 2007. In this capacity, she serves as a moral voice and independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls affected by armed conflict.
Ms. Coomaraswamy, a lawyer by training, is an internationally known human rights advocate who has done outstanding work as Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003). In her reports to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, she has written on violence in the family, violence in the community, violence against women during armed conflict and the problem of international trafficking. A strong advocate on women’s rights, she has intervened on behalf of countless women throughout the world seeking clarification from Governments in cases involving violence against women.
Ms. Coomaraswamy has won many awards. These include: The International Law Award of the American Bar association, the Human Rights Award of the International Human Rights Law Group, the Bruno Kreisky Award of 2000, the Leo Ettinger Human Rights Prize of the University of Oslo, Cesar Romero Award of the University of Dayton, the William J. Butler Award from the University of Cincinnati, and the Robert S. Litvack Award from McGill University
Ms. Coomaraswamy is a graduate of the United Nations International School in New York. She received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University, an LLM from Harvard University and honorary PhDs from Amherst College, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Essex and the University of Leuven.