Khushi Kabir

Human Rights Activist; Rapoport Center Visiting Practitioner
Event Speakers, Visiting Professors/Practitioners (Spring 2017)

Khushi Kabir is a human rights activist based in Bangladesh. She has a long and storied career in advocating for landless, indigenous, and women’s rights throughout the country and is a voice for progressive politics in Bangladesh and South Asia more broadly. The core of her work has been the organization Nijera Kori (NK), a nonhierarchical, non-service providing civil society organization in Bangladesh which supports landless peasants in organizing for change. Nijera Kori, which translates from Bengali as “we do it ourselves,” empowers local groups of landless peasants to advocate for their own rights—to state institutions, to local governmental organizations, and to NGOs mounting development projects in their communities. Founded in the 1980s out of a frustration with the systematic neglect of landless-issues, NK has grown into a broad network throughout the country that extends to over 1100 villages and over 200,000 members. Ms. Kabir has been a vocal public advocate for a range of issues in Bangladesh including women’s rights, indigenous rights, conflict resolution in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, secularism and intellectual freedom, and more.She is an outspoken voice against the rise of militant Islam in Bangladesh and has been an active participant in Bangladesh’s pro-democracy movement. She is the coordinator in Bangladesh for 1 Billion Rising, a transnational solidarity movement working against the exploitation of women. Her work has gained her significant notoriety both in and beyond Bangladesh. Ms. Kabir was one of the 1000 women collectively nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.