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13.10.2011

Safak Pavey tells us how innovation connects us to new and many indispensible friends and its role for equal right to life. She invites us to acknowledge and embrace the innovation that surrounds us every day.

Safak Pavey is a member of the Turkish Parliament. She is known for her international work in human rights, humanitarian aid and peace-building with a background embracing diplomacy, peace activism and journalism.

Safak’s passion for social justice was shaped by the creative and intellectual environment she grew up in. The train accident she had whilst studying art and film in Zurich introduced her further to the world of disabled people, reshaping her perspective of the world. She chose to continue the struggle she gave for herself for others. Minorities, children, women who have been subject to violence, disabled people, refugees, torture victims and all others including nature whose rights have been violated became the focal point of her attention. Safak worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on humanitarian missions in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Europe and the USA dealing with different human displacement situations and holding various positions from managing global strategic communications to serving as regional spokesperson.

In 2010, she became the first appointed Secretary to the newly established UN human rights secretariat at its headquarters in Geneva.
She left her position in the United Nations prior to being elected as Deputy of Istanbul in June 2011. Safak is a specialist in foreign affairs, communications, philanthropy and accessible design thinking. Her studies include graduate & postgraduate degrees in international relations and the EU, specializing in “nationalism, ethnicity and minority rights” at the London School of Economics & Political Science, and arts, film and media studies in Switzerland. As the sponsor of her own educational career, she worked as a translator, independent journalist and documentary film-maker for a number of international media companies.
She was the first Turkish columnist of Agos newspaper. Up to date, Safak has published three books including a legal book as its editorial manager on “Refugee Rights in Iran” with 2003 Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. In different capacities from board member to trustee and associate, Safak is affiliated with different civil forums and institutions related to disability & employment issues and a member of various accessibility, inclusive / universal design platforms.