The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Gulnara Shahinian

Independent expert

An expert in trafficking, Gulnara Shahinian is a member of the Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, which monitors the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. She was previously the elected chair of the UN expert group on trafficking and the elected vice chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings for the Council of Europe. She was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as a member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. She is vice chair of the State Commission on the Status of Women and a member of the Armenian Anti-Trafficking Commission. In 2005, she was also selected to chair the Expert Group meeting on CEDAW and violence in the family for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Ms. Shahinian, who has been involved in local government for the past 18 years, has been chair of the All-Armenian Union of Women, heading “Armenian Women at the Doorstep of the Twenty-First Century,” the first international women’s issues conference in her country. She also served as the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs for the Yerevan City Council. As founder of the NGO Democracy Today, Ms. Shahinian works to establish an open, independent, and accessible library and resource center and to promote democracy and gender sensitivity in Armenian society. She earned a degree in international law from the Saint Petersburg Institute of International Relations and one in English and Russian Linguistics from Yerevan State University. Author of a number of articles and studies on trafficking, she has also edited a book on best practices in the fight against trafficking, coauthored Trafficking in Women and Children, and written a book, Old Problem – New Realities. Ms. Shahinian coauthored a book on human trafficking published by the UN Institute of Management and conducted regional trainings on peace and conflict resolution.


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