Law and Peace Practice Group

Galuh Wandita

Galuh Wandita began working on peace and conflict issues in the 1990s in Indonesia, focusing on women’s health and human rights, community rights impacted by mining, with an emphasis on empowering local actors, during the authoritarian New Order regime. Together with a group of  East Timorese (then under illegal occupation of Indonesia), she founded a women’s organization, Fokupers, dedicated to stopping violence against women in 1997.

Galuh was a humanitarian worker with Oxfam during the 1999 referendum in East Timor. In 2002-2005 she was appointed Deputy Director of Timor-Leste’s truth commission (CAVR). Together with CAVR’s executive director and senior staff, she designed and managed the fieldwork conducted by the CAVR district teams, and supervised the commission’s work on truth-seeking and victim support. Later on, she drafted key chapters in the commission report, “Chega!” (2005). She returned to Indonesia as a Senior Associate for the International Center for Transitional Justice, working on accountability in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

In 2012, Galuh co-founded Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and continues to lead the organization as its Executive Director, managing programs and staff in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries. In 2014, she was a co-convener and member of a “citizen’s council” working with a coalition of 50 NGOs across Indonesia in a civil society-led truth-seeking process. She is co-founder and chair for Associacaon Chega Ba Ita, an NGO in Timor-Leste dedicated to supporting women survivors and conducting advocacy on the recommendations of the truth commission. As a member of the Working Group on the Stolen Children, she has led the initiative to find more than 160 survivors of childhood abduction from Timor-Leste (now living in Indonesia), reuniting 80 stolen children with their families.

She was appointed by Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister as a member of the international advisory council on the Centro Nacional Chega (CNC), a follow-up body with a mandate to preserve memory and assist survivors. She also is engaged as an advisor to the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission, working with civil society designing its mandate (2008), supporting key activities in the early period of its establishment (2017), and as member of the writing/editorial team of its final report (forthcoming.)

Galuh holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University (2006). She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology from Swarthmore College, PA (USA) in 1988. 

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