Regional Director of Asylum Access Latin America, Asylum Access
Karina Sarmiento is the Regional Director of Asylum Access Latin America (AALA). Karina leads the strategic vision for the organization’s operations in Ecuador and Mexico as well as the advocacy initiatives to promote refugee rights in the greater Latin American region and globally. Since 2008, Karina has led the growth of the organization in the region from one local team in Quito to seven across Ecuador and five in Mexico, whose community legal empowerment programs currently reach more than 22,000 people per year. She has authored a number of reports on international protection and refugee issues, including “Determining Refugee Status in Latin America: Regional Challenges and Opportunities” and “Comprehensive Justice: Refugee Women and Gender-Based Violence”. She has extensive experience working in the areas of international human rights law, empowerment and development. She holds a BA with Honours at Sussex University and a LLM on International Cooperation against International and Transnational Crime at Teramo University. In 2013, she served as a Rapporteur of the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs and in 2014, as delegate to the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Declaration of Cartagena on Refugees. In 2015, was named a Draper Hills Summer Fellow by the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.