I am the new Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO) with MSF in Chad. Not all MSF missions have HAOs.
HAOs are deployed to countries when MSF is of the view that the situation requires additional advocacy expertise in relation to medical aid and witnessing (témoignage), the two elements that make up MSF’s work. What drew me to MSF is the fact that its advocacy is very concrete. It is based primarily on what MSF teams working on the ground see, hear and document. I already have one story to share. For me, it illustrates how having to leave one’s home to access water (a task that is traditionally allocated to women and girls), can put one’s health at risk.
Ritu is a Toronto-based lawyer. She has been a practicing lawyer since 2000 and has considerable experience at the national and international level. She worked as a litigator with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, one of Canada’s leading law firms, and as a Human Rights Officer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal. Most recently, she was a Senior Counsel and team lead on international indigenous issues at the Canadian Department of Justice.