Human Rights Council side event

Jo consults in the human rights, gender equality and development fields. She has over a decade of experience working with national, regional and IGOs following a career as a journalist, and has worked and/or lived in more than 20 countries, mostly in Asia, but also the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Africa. She has worked as a London-based grant manager since 2016, working on gender equality and violence for the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Comic Relief, and on community development for Local Trust.

She holds an MA (Distinction) in Intl. Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  Read more at LinkedIn

Jo transitioned into the human rights field from full-time journalism via the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and Asian Legal Resources Centre (ALRC) in Hong Kong, managing its regional advocacy programme. This helped to amplify the campaigning of grassroots human rights groups across the region at national and international levels, with a focus on torture, arbitrary detention, persecution and disappearance.

As a consultant she has worked with a range of organisations as a research, policy, communications and advocacy adviser. These include UN Women in New York and Bangkok, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, International Crisis Group, DFID, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Cairo Institute on Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Penal Reform International, The Women’s Foundation (Hong Kong), and the British Council, among others.  She works as an evaluator for EU-funded programmes, and has advocated at various international fora, including UN Human Rights Council sessions and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Jo has developed a focus on gender-specific responses to crime  after she led and produced a multi-country research study for DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture on the situation, needs and rights of detained women (see Published Research). She has since visited women in 14 prisons around the world, and has consulted on further research, curriculum development and training for correctional officials.

Lusaka Central women's prison, ZambiaAs a commentator, writer and editor, Jo has written regularly for international media, such as the South China Morning Post, Inter-Press Service and the Asia Sentinel, as well as industry journals and portals, among them the Oxford Human Rights Hub, Essex Human Rights CentreHistorical Memory and Justice Network, Sri Lanka’s Law and Society Trust Review, and Open Democracy.

As a journalist, she covered social justice issues, design and culture, and wrote regularly for mainstream publications, including Time Magazine , the Guardian, and the South China Morning Post. Her interview subjects have included former Guantanamo Bay detainees and rights activists, a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, architect Tadao Ando and moral philosopher, Peter Singer. Her assignments have spanned women’s empowerment in Myanmar, and anti-torture legislation in Asia, to  land rights in Cambodia and Sri Lanka’s witness protection laws. features the selected works of Baker’s, published during the last few years.

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