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Suffolk woman receives MBE

PUBLISHED: 20:43 16 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

THE FOUNDER of Ipswich-based charity Rights and Humanity received an MBE at Buckingham Palace in honour of her international services to human rights.

Julia Hausermann, who lives in Bramford, trained as a barrister before deciding to devote her life to human rights work, which has received world wide recognition.

THE FOUNDER of Ipswich-based charity Rights and Humanity received an MBE at Buckingham Palace in honour of her international services to human rights.

Julia Hausermann, who lives in Bramford, trained as a barrister before deciding to devote her life to human rights work, which has received world wide recognition.

She founded the charity, Rights and Humanity, 15 years ago with a group of European and African human rights lawyers and development workers.

The aim is to promote recognition that poverty and social exclusion are contraventions of legal human rights.

The 50-year-old, who was nominated by the Foreign Office for her work, said: "I am a bit surprised, but I am really thrilled for the charity. It is real recognition for what we are doing.

"Much of our work is pretty much behind the scenes so we are thrilled. Once I had got over the shock it was a wonderful achievement for the work of everyone in the charity."

It was while she was studying in Oxford for a doctorate in international relations her interest was sparked after she was alerted to the plight of the Vietnamese boat people.

Soon after she worked in the Middle East and Africa where she experienced first hand involvement with refugees.

The charity's string of achievements include a role in the World Conference on Women in Beijing, where a consensus was developed between Islamic and Western Countries on controversial issues on health and human rights.

Five years ago Mrs Hausermann advised the South African Constitutional Assembly on the integration of economic and social rights into the Bill of Rights in the new constitution.

Mrs Hausermann is also author of A Human Rights Approach to Development, commissioned by the department for International Development headed by Claire Short. This has had an impact on policy world wide and is used by many United Nations Agencies.

The charity has also provided an important role in protecting the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS.

Rights and Humanity works with governments, international organisations and community groups to develop strategies for the application of human rights in every day life.

Mrs Hausermann explained: "While Amnesty International have an important role monitoring violations we try to prevent these violations and promote human rights as a framework for dealing with poverty and social isolation."

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