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Barbara RUIS


As part of the 2017 International Women's Day, a call for nominations was launched in February 2017 to recognize Geneva-based individuals’ commitment and contribution to the advancement and support of gender equality and women's empowerment in the field of environment. An exhibition celebrating their achievements was launched on 8 March 2017, at the International Environment House.

Barbara Ruis is an international lawyer, specialized among other things in the interaction between human rights and environment. She is passionate about access to justice, public participation, gender equality, and the rights of everyone to a healthy environment. Colleagues recognize Barbara for her innovative and collaborative attitude. Barbara has previously worked as a lawyer for the Secretariat of the Commission for Sustainable Development in New York, as well as a researcher and lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Barbara is currently Legal Advisor to UN Environment’s Europe Office. She works in a broad range of multilateral settings, providing guidance to Secretariats and parties of a variety of regional environmental agreements. She is closely involved in relevant items on the Human Rights Council agenda, and represents UN Environment in the negotiations that ultimately will lead to a treaty on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

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