Dr. Leah Utyasheva



Dr. Leah Utyasheva is outstanding researcher and practioner, working in a field of human rights and its application. She is a graduate of the Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russia. She holds an LL.M. in Comparative Constitutional Law from the Central European University, Budapest, and a Ph.D. in Human Rights Law from the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom. 


Dr. Utyasheva Leah has worked in the area of human rights and law in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia for more than 10 years.  She started her human rights work at the Ombudsman’s (Human Rights Commissioner) office in Ufa, Russia, where she dealt with complaints from low income and vulnerable persons.  She then worked on issues of access to justice and legal aid systems reform in Eastern Europe with the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) in Budapest. 


In 2004-2006, she worked on issues of gender equality, women’s empowerment and prevention of domestic violence as a Legal officer and later as a Director of Gender Justice Program at the American Bar Association's Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) in Moscow.  In 2006-2009, she worked as Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Toronto, Canada. In this capacity she specialised in human rights of people living with HIV, people who use drugs and prisoners in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In 2010-2012, she taught international human rights law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, Canada.


Since 2010, Dr. Leah Utyasheva is a consultant in international human rights law, drug policy and gender issues. She works with civil society groups, governments and inter-governmental organisations providing technical assistance, capacity building and legal and policy analysis related to human rights, protection from discrimination and gender issues. Leah is a board member of AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW), the Netherlands.