Khin Ohmar has been a human rights practitioner and advocate since 1988, when she began her human rights work as a student activist, organizing a nationwide democracy uprising. As the military regime staged a coup through a bloody crackdown, Ohmar, along with thousands of other students and activists, left for the Thai-Burma border to continue to fight for democracy in Burma. For the past 30 years, she has lived her life in exile; once in the US as a political refugee, she studied at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Massachusetts and worked with Refugees International in Washington, DC till she returned to contribute to the democracy movement based along Burma's border regions.
She continued to campaign for democracy in Burma internationally and regionally, as the founder of a number of civil society organizations, including: Women's League of Burma (WLB) and Burma Partnership and Progressive Voice. Ohmar developed the WLB's Women Peacebuilding Program and served as coordinator. She also served as the coordinator of National Reconciliation Program, as the chairperson of the Advisory Board for Progressive VoiceDrawing from her own experience with activism and trauma at individual and community level, Ohmar took part in the research carried out by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma on the exiled Burmese student activists in Thailand in 1996.In 2012, she co-authored "Trauma and Recovery on War's Borders: A Guide for Global Health Workers", a guide for mental health workers in regions traumatized by war, human rights violations, and poverty across the globe. Ohmar is a recipient of Capital Area Peace Maker Award (American University; 1997), Refugee Leader of Promise Award (Women's Commission on Refugee Women and Children; 1997); Anna Lindh Award (Anna Lindh Memorial Foundation; 2008); Global Leadership Award for Human Rights (Vital Voices; 2008); and Young Women's Peace Award (Democracy Today; 2018).
Region: South East Asia
Area of Expertise: Human rights; leadership of women and youth; Civil society; National reconciliation; Expert on Burma; Ethnic and Religious Minorities