2005 - 2006: Irene Khan

Irene Khan

The eighth annual University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights was delivered by Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Alberta Myer Horowitz Theatre.

About Irene Khan

Always keen to draw attention to hidden human rights violations wherever they occur, Khan has dedicated her life to working directly with people to improve their lives. After more than twenty years of working in the field of international law and human rights, Khan was named the seventh secretary general of Amnesty International in 2001, its 40th anniversary.

"As advocates for justice, equality and human dignity, Amnesty International is an important and vital organization for all the world's citizens, and I look forward to hearing the wisdom that Irene Khan will share with us," said U of A Provost and Vice President (Academic) Dr. Carl Amrhein.

Independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. Amnesty International's mission is to undertake research and action to prevent abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination.

In her first year in office, Khan reformed Amnesty International's response to crisis situations, personally leading high level missions to Pakistan during the bombing of Afghanistan. Khan has also initiated a process of consultations with women activists to design a global campaign against violence on women. She is an outspoken critic of terrorist activities and also condemns the rights abuses perpetrated by those who are purportedly working to prevent terrorism. Khan believes in the power of individuals coming together to create change for a better world.