Lydia Winyi KembabaziLydia Winyi Kembabazi


Occupational Information

Job Title: Advocacy Officer at the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA)

Professional History

Lydia Winyi Kembabazi  is an Advocacy Officer at the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA).  In her role at the IHRDA, she leads legal reform advocacy projects across Africa.  Lydia engages government law reform commissions and think tanks to leverage expertise to provide legal audits of laws and to compile research on discriminatory laws.  With the data on egregious laws, policies, and practices that are discriminatory and against the spirit of the African Charter, she can then identify strategic litigation opportunities to remedy abuses and effect systemic change.  The African Protection Mechanisms provide grounds for these actions but Lydia says that for effective outcomes, due diligence in case-building leading up to litigation is necessary and falls to her.  To do so, she uses existing best practices from countries that implement decisions, identifying relevant stakeholders across Africa, including media, academia, law students, and researchers, organising them in loose coalitions.  This allows the IRHDA to leverage coverage, share information and expertise, and make clear to the public why landmark cases must not slip through the cracks.

Prior to her work at IHRDA, Lydia was the Legal Manager at AdvocAid in Sierra Leone, where she prepared and implemented legal advocacy initiatives and managed their legal aid case system.  She was also Legal Counsel to Nakiwala & Company Advocates and has been a Legal Programs Advisor to the Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Domestic Sexual Violence.  Lydia was a consultant to the NOREC for partner organisation in 13 African countries and Senior Legal Officer at the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims in Africa.  She worked at the Centre for seven years, leading, coordinating and managing a range of functions for victims and refugees, as well as providing representation. She presented papers at forums such as the African commission for Human and People‚Äôs Rights, and more specifically to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA).

Lydia was a participant in the Fredskorpset Exchange Programme through NOREC, a Norwegian Government Agency established to promote and fund exchange of young professional leaders for capacity building on how best to develop and strengthen civil society.  She is also a Fellow of the Open Society Justice Initiative Fellowship Programme. The programme supports a network of lawyers and activists working on human rights-related issues internationally. Lydia was one of the 10 successful applicants selected from Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Central/South America for the two-year programme.


Masters of Laws in Human Rights (LLM) from Central European University Budapest, Hungary
Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Uganda
Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons) from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda


2022 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

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