B.A. LL.B (NLU, Jodhpur);
LL.M. candidate (SOAS University of London)
Ishita’s experience lies in international refugee law and localizing international human rights law applicable to the forcibly displaced, within the South Asian context.
She graduated from National Law University, Jodhpur and steered away from a brief stint at a corporate law firm, to join Migration & Asylum Project, a refugee law centre based in New Delhi. As a refugee lawyer, Ishita represented asylum-seekers mainly from Afghanistan, Myanmar and DRC, undertaking expansive country-of-origin information research for their refugee-status-determination (RSD) process. She specialized in providing legal representation to survivors of torture and sexual and gender-based violence and routinely collaborated with UNHCR, India for interventions. In addition, she was engaged in the strategic litigation before the Supreme Court of India to contest the en masse deportation order against the Rohingya refugees, framing arguments on intersecting issues of international human rights law on torture and racial discrimination; customary international law on non-refoulment; domestic immigration statutes; and constitutional ethos. She also worked on research-based advocacy projects to promote refugees’ socio-economic rights, and their access to Indian criminal justice system.
In 2019, Ishita received the Chevening award by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to pursue LL.M. in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice at SOAS, University of London. At SOAS, she was a member of the International Human Rights Law Clinic and worked with Reprieve (U.K) on the ‘Death by Data’ campaign, which advocates against the U.S’s use of artificial intelligence to identify targets of drone strikes in its War on Terror. Her research in this project focussed on implications of subjecting non-citizens to racially-biased and gendered outcomes of algorithmic decision-making and the accountability for wrongful civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, under international law.
Along with forced migration and statelessness, Ishita’s research interests lie in transitional justice, its relevance in ongoing conflict situations; women, peace and security framework, mainly the critical perspectives on gender-mainstreaming in peacebuilding; and applying Third World Approaches to International Law to study colonial underpinnings of international criminal law and institutional reforms required to tackle structural violence in the Global South.
Outside work deadlines, Ishita is a fan of travelling and enjoys planning regular trips to towns that embed exemplary community living and harmony.