Alice Nah
Affiliate, Human Rights Resilience Project

Alice M. Nah is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Applied Human Rights and Department of Politics at the University of York, United Kingdom.

Alice conducts research in two areas. Firstly, she focuses on risk and activism, examining how people involved in activism around the world navigate risks, manage their security, and receive protection support. She is a co-author of the Barcelona Guidelines on Wellbeing and Temporary International Relocation of Human Rights Defenders at Risk. In her book Protecting Human Rights Defenders at Risk (Routledge, 2020), she examines the construction, operation and effects of the international protection regime for human rights defenders and proposes ways in which protection should be reimagined and practiced. She is currently working on a Ford Foundation funded research project The Protection and Wellbeing of Human Rights Defenders with Disabilities that examines how human rights defenders understand and manage their disabilities as they navigate risks, and how protection actors understand and respond to their disabilities when providing support.

Secondly, Alice focuses on migration and asylum in Asia, examining how the lives of migrants and refugees are shaped by laws, policies, and practices. She explores how state authorities, civil society groups, UNHCR, and non-citizens understand the place of migrants and refugees in Asian societies. She is a Co-Investigator on a British Academy funded research project The Verandah of Protection: Violence, History and the Protection of Rohingya refugees in Aceh and Beyond, which examines how histories of violence and displacement as well as sharia and local customary law influence the protection of refugees in the province of Aceh, others parts of Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Alice has been invited by governments, intergovernmental bodies, and civil society actors to participate in dialogues as an independent expert on the security and protection of defenders at risk and on forced migration in Asia. She is one of the co-founders of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, which advocates for the rights of refugees and others in need of protection in the Asia Pacific region. She chairs the Boards of the International Detention Coalition, a global network that advocates to secure the human rights of people impacted by and at-risk of immigration detention, and Protection International, an international network that supports human rights defenders in developing their security and protection management strategies. She is a judge on the Ockenden International Prizes, which support locally-based and/or refugee-led organisations that work directly with refugees and displaced people to advance self-reliance. In 2009, the US State Department presented Alice with a TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery Award.

Before her current appointment at the University of York, Alice held an Endeavour Cheung Kong Research Fellowship at Monash University, Melbourne; the President’s Graduate Fellowship and postgraduate research scholarships at the National University of Singapore; and a visiting fellowship with the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. She gained a PhD and M.Soc.Sci. at the National University of Singapore and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Leeds as a Chevening Scholar.


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