In 1993, Professor Packer was assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma during which he visited Rakhine State to investigate attacks on Rohingyas which had precipitated the 1992 exodus of some 200,000 refugees ten years after being stripped of their citizenship. Professor Packer has remained engaged with Rohingyas since then, notably promoting awareness of their situation as the world’s most numerous stateless people and helping the organisation of Rohingya representation and genuine articulation of their legitimate concerns outside Burma/Myanmar.
John Packer is Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre and an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa. He previously taught at the Fletcher School (Tufts University) and the University of Essex, held Fellowships at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, and has lectured at academic and professional institutions around the world. Over his 30-year career, he was an inter-governmental official for 20 years (UNHCR, ILO, OHCHR, UNDPA, OSCE) and has advised numerous governments, communities and other actors in over fifty countries. In 2012-2014, he was the Constitutions Expert on the UN’s Standby Team of Mediation Experts. The focus of his research and practice is at the inter-section of human rights (including minority rights) and security, notably conflict prevention and quiet diplomacy, international mediation, transitional arrangements, and institutional developments at domestic and multilateral levels.