Director of the People’s Legal Aid Centre
A Sudanese national, Rifaat Makkawi is a lawyer. He graduated from the University of Cairo in 1988. He obtained a master's degree in international Human Rights Law from the University of Essex in the UK in 1997. He is the director of People’s Legal Aid Center ("PLACE"), based in Khartoum, set up in 1998, which is a non-profit association of lawyers and paralegals serving the legal needs of displaced and other marginalised people in Sudan. He is an expert on Islamic law and customary law in Sudan. He has worked on a number of consultancies (including for UNICEF in Libya and elsewhere). He has carried out training on human rights issues for numerous bodies in Sudan and the region, as well as contributing to drafting new laws including the Child Rights Act and an Act on the Legal Aid service. Rifaat has been instrumental in the work of expanding access to primary justice services in Africa and the Middle East. For his outstanding work and dedication to improving access to justice for everyone, Rifaat was awarded Clifford Chance’s first international human rights award in 2010.