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Meerim Ilyas

Meerim Ilyas

Deputy Head of Protection
Front Line Defenders

Meerim joined Front Line Defenders in 2019 as a Deputy Head of Protection, to help oversee the coordination of protection for HRDs at risk. Meerim also has a specific focus on strengthening FLD's support for women and LGBTI+ human rights defenders, and overall organizational systems and policies as relevant to gender equality and intersectionality. Prior to FLD, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, where she led work on holistic security for WHRDs, and coordinated outreach, advocacy and grant support for environmental and indigenous WHRDs. Meerim was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, and is a key resource person for LGBTI+ activists in Central Asia and other regions who are in need of assistance. Due to personal experiences, Meerim has a deep commitment to issues around access and disability. She is on the board of AWID, a global, feminist, membership-based organization, & Queer Crescent Healing, a healing justice organization for LGBTQIA+ Muslims in the Bay Area and beyond.