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Our Team

Equidem is managed and led by a Chief Executive Officer. It has a team of experts each of whom holds advanced degrees and has decades of experience carrying out human rights investigations in the field. 

Equidem analyses findings against international and national human rights and labour rights standards and develops concrete, practical recommendations on how to prevent and remedy abuse. We work with grassroots and international civil society and trade unions in Africa, Asia the Middle East, North America and Europe, United Nations agencies and other international non-government organisations. Our work seeks to build the human rights movement and hold powerful state, business and private actors to accountable for serious human rights violations.

At the heart of our work is our unrivalled network of field investigators who are based in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Our team members are fluent in written and spoken Arabic, Amharic, Bangla, Cantonese, Darl, English, Hindi Malayalam, Mandarin, Nepali, Punjabi, Sinhala, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu, among others.  

We emphasise a sound grasp of the most current debates in our respective areas, and design innovative responses that are based on extensive community and stakeholder consultations, particularly with international experts and grassroots civil society.

Board of Trustees

Sarah Nankivell

Sarah Nankivell is the Director of Research and Strategy at Common Wealth, a think tank based in London whose research is focused on reimagining ownership and building a more democratic and sustainable economy. Sarah was previously the Research Manager of Forensic Architecture (FA), a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BSc) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil), where her research focused on the destruction of heritage sites in conflict. Sarah joined the FA team in 2017, having previously worked at B+H Architects, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Aga Khan Museum.

Ruth Khakame

Ruth Khakame is an experienced lead organiser of workers including migrant workers. The Chairperson of the National Domestic Workers Council, KUDHEIHA - KENYA, she has vast experience in matters of labour, Employment laws, and migration . She has soft spot for the vulnerable groups in society. She is an executive board member in a number of rights-based organisations. And the youth president for the ITUC Africa. She's involved in grassroots mobilisation , campaigns and advocacy, networking and collaborations, policy reviews, education and training, resource mobilisation towards achieving balance and equality for vulnerable groups.

Paul Watson


Paul has almost 30 years of compliance, advisory and leadership roles within investment banking and financial markets. Paul is currently Head of Compliance for the Natixis London Branch. Prior to that he worked for HSBC’s investment bank, Cazenove, and Credit Lyonnais. As a managing director at HSBC, he led globally their Global Banking & Markets Compliance team and transformed their surveillance function into industry leaders. Paul is also a special advisor to Eiger Regulatory Partners. He has an LLB in Business Law and a Masters in European Law; both from Strathclyde University.

Nazma Akter

The Founder and Executive Director of Awaj Foundation, Nazma Akter, has fought extensively for over 32 years to enhance working conditions and rights, especially for women employees. Whilst undertaking her role at the Awaj Foundation, Nazma also is the President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation and also the Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Women's Committee of IndustriALL Global Union. Nazma has been recognised for her selfless work by being awarded the Bangladesh Mohila Parishad Aware and ASTRAIA Female Leader of the Year 2013 while also being nominated for the Inspired Leadership Award in 2018.

John James Bulstrode

John-James works with Amnesty International's European, Central Asian, and Middle East teams on regional and national fundraising from trusts, foundations and institutional donors. He was recently instrumental in launching Amnesty’s appeals for work on Afghanistan in August 2021 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He previously worked at Oxfam GB advising on funding from the European Commission and on humanitarian deployments. He has also worked with International Service and UNIFEM/UN Women in funding, project management and administration. Before that, he spent time in customer service and teaching abroad. He is treasurer for a community sponsorship group, The Welcome Committee, helping refugee families to settle in London. He is a strong communicator with a passion for social justice and purposeful transnational collaborations, with technical skills in proposal development and grant management. His interests include intersectional equality and addressing social exclusion. He has a first-class degree in French from UCL and an MA in Gender and Development from the University of Warwick. He was born in East London and grew up near Oxford.

Joanne Mariner

Joanne Mariner is a senior human rights researcher who has worked in multiple roles including as director of crisis response at Amnesty International. She has investigated human rights violations around the world, documenting war crimes in Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Ukraine, ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic, and political violence in Burundi and Haiti, among others. She has published widely on human rights topics, conducted advocacy before UN and regional bodies, and appeared on national and international media. In 2005, she received the American Society of International Law's Distinguished Woman in International Law award. A graduate of Yale Law School, she is a member of the New York bar.

Clive Baldwin

Clive Baldwin is Senior Legal Advisor for the legal and policy office at Human Rights Watch, where he has been working on issues of international law since 2007. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Clive was a practicing lawyer in London for the human rights law firm, Bindman and Partners, and worked on European human rights litigation at the AIRE Centre. He subsequently worked for the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, and later served as Head of Advocacy for Minority Rights Group International. While at Minority Rights Group, Clive implemented the organization’s first global litigation program. The cases he litigated included the Endorois Community v Kenya, the first Indigenous land rights case at the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. In Finci v Bosnia-Hercegovina, he helped successfully challenge the Bosnian constitution’s exclusion of Jews from the presidency and upper house of parliament in the first such ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. Clive helped Human Rights Watch initiate a case with two other organizations against Libya in 2011 that resulted in the first ruling against a state by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Clive received a bachelors degree in international history and politics from the University of Leeds, a masters in international relations from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and studied law at City University, London. He speaks French.

The Team

Rakesh Patel

Head of Fundraising

Rakesh Patel is a philanthropy and partnerships specialist with extensive fundraising experience spanning various international not for profit organisations. Rakesh works closely with philanthropists, trusts and foundations and institutional funders on how they can best make a difference to the issues they care about most.

Dr. Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee

Senior Adviser

Dr. Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee is a lawyer, researcher, and advocate. Her research takes an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective in understanding labour markets, supply chains, migration, and discrimination in the global economy. Bringing together legal analysis, interdisciplinary social science research, and social theory, Shikha studies global value chains and migration in order to inform legal and quasi-legal regimes at international, national, and sub-national levels. Her focus on gender, race, and caste in the global economy considers how social governance regimes articulate in relationship to legal, financial, and political regimes. Shikha has completed a PhD from University of California Berkeley, a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a BA in English and Ethnicity, Race and Migration from Yale University. Her work is informed by two decades of experience working with grassroots campaigns and civil society organizations in the U.S., Africa, and Asia, using legal, media and community organizing approaches. Shikha has worked with leading human and labour rights organizations including Asia Floor Wage Alliance, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Equidem, the Freedom Fund, GLJ-ILRF, Human Rights Watch, the ILO, Jan Sahas, PRADAN, Society for Labour and Development, and Women’s Fund Asia.

Jason Nemerovski


Jason Nemerovski is a human rights researcher. He has contributed significantly to various organizations with different focuses such as anti-human trafficking, corporate accountability, and peacekeeping. Jason is also the co-founder of Bold Moves Only, a project aimed at spotlighting individuals who have courageously taken bold actions to instigate positive change, inspiring others to follow suit. Jason is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (BA) and the Geneva Graduate Institute (MA) where he specialised in development and migration studies.

Martha Waithira


Martha Waithira is an experienced organiser of migrant workers with a wide network in Africa and the Middle East having previosuly worked in the Gulf region where she escaped an abusive employer and helped dozens of others to do the same. She has over a decade of experience in employment and labour dispute resolution and creating awareness of basic human rights among migrant workers from Africa.

Anis Rahman Khan


Anisur Rahman Khan is a labour rights investigator at Equidem. He is a Bangladeshi returnee migrant worker and passionate migrant rights activist. Amis is a member of the International Coordinating Body of the International Migrant Alliance (IMA). He serves as a guest trainer for government Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO), is a member of the Bangladesh National Migration Forum, and contributes to the UN Network on Migration. Anisur co-founded and served as the Secretary General of the Welfare Association of Repatriated Bangladeshi Employees (WARBE) and WARBE Development Foundation. He actively participates in migrant rights organizations like Bangladesh Migration and Development Forum (BMDF), National Alliance for Migrant Rights, Bangladesh (NAMR,B), and Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM), and has played a key role in Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), organizing events such as the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) in Dhaka 2003. Motivated by his own challenging migrant experience, Anisur was involved in various initiatives during his 5 years in Saudi Arabia, including publishing wall magazines, forming cultural groups, and running an English night school for Bangladeshi migrant workers. His commitment extends to diverse research methodologies, making him a respected advocate in the field.

Geoffrey Owino

Senior Investigator

Geoffrey Owino is a Kenyan having worked as a migrant worker in the Gulf. He is our Kenyan investigator with expertise in migrant worker research and investigations in the East and Central Africa regions. He is passionate about organising workers, creating awareness of human/labour rights, and overall advocacy on diverse human rights policies and issues. Before joining Equidem Geoffrey had worked in the private security sector, Kenyan unions and worked on advocacy and national campaigns on labour rights in Kenya. Geoffrey has a wealth of experience in occupational health and safety inspections, in both Kenya and the Gulf countries, across multiple sectors.

Vipitha Vijayan

Assistant Researcher

Vipitha Vijayan is an Assistant Researcher working on research design and data analysis. Vipitha helps Equidem answer complex labour rights questions through rigorous research and analysis. She has an MPhil from the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and is currently completing a PhD. Vipitha has worked closely with various marginalised communities advocating for land rights and labour rights. Her work revolves around caste, social exclusion, spatiality, subalternity, gender and labour issues.

Rameshwar Nepal

Head of Investigations

Rameshwar has worked on human rights for over two decades, becoming Amnesty International’s longest serving director in Nepal before leaving to join Equidem in 2017. He now manages our work in Nepal, including four field investigators, and coordinates our work across South Asia.

Nikhil Eapen

Head of Research

Nikhil has broad experience spanning human rights research and advocacy, campaigning and mobilisation, investigative reporting and fundraising. Nikhil is the author of the landmark Amnesty International report Exploited dreams: Dispatches from Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. He has a background in labour rights and a proven track record of building and leading large teams that deliver on strategic outcomes.

Nani Baral

Operations Officer

Nani is an experienced office manager and is responsible for a range of administrative and project management functions for Equidem and Equidem Nepal. She brings a range of expertise to Equidem from working in the media and financial services industries in Nepal for over a decade. She has experience in investigative reporting, documentation of human rights and social issues, working with communities and rights holders, and conducting motivational trainings.

Mini Mohan


Before joining Equidem, Mini spent 25 years working with civil society organisations and trade unions in India and the wider region. As a long-term advocate for workers’ and migrants’ rights in industries such as fishing, construction and farming, Mini works closely with people from marginalised communities, including low-wage workers, women, children, disabled and transgender people.

Eiffel Abedin

Senior Investigator

EiffeI has extensive experience as a social researcher and journalist including previously as the Diplomatic Correspondent for Bangladesh News and Dhaka Tribune, and reporting for Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, China Central Television and Al Jazeera Arabic. He covered the Rohingya refugee crisis for US-based magazine Politico and has worked as a Special Correspondent for The Los Angeles Times.

Deepika Thapaliya

Projects Manager

Deepika is a qualified lawyer in Nepal with experience working as a Legal Assistant for a respected law firm and undertaking human rights research for Amnesty International Nepal. She is also a founding member of a local Senior Citizen Service Community, a non-profit organisation that protects and promotes senior citizens’ rights. Deepika speaks English, Hindi and Nepali.

Mustafa Qadri


Mustafa Qadri is the Founder and CEO of Equidem, providing overall strategic direction and managing all our projects. He is a human rights research and advocacy expert with 20 years of interdisciplinary experience in government and public international law, journalism and the non-governmental sector.