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Rez Gardi

Rez Gardi

Director and founder of the Kurdish Youth Association in New Zealand

Rez was born in a United Nations refugee camp in Pakistan as her Kurdish family escaped persecution in their homeland of Kurdistan. 
At the age of six, Rez and her family settled in New Zealand. Arriving with nothing, Rez has sought to use her difficult start in life as motivation to succeed recently becoming New Zealand’s first Kurdish female lawyer.

With an understandable passion for human rights, Rez hopes to focus her legal career on fighting for justice and equality for underprivileged and marginalised people which she is doing through her role as a global refugee youth advocate and a youth advisor to the New Zealand Red Cross.

In 2016, Rez represented New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations, the UNHCR-NGO Consultations, and the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges of Children on the Move, all in Geneva, and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Conference in Bangkok. She is currently working on projects for refugee youth in New Zealand’s main centres and will assist the Red Cross in the planning and co-chairing the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement later this year.

Rez is committed to ensuring that the plight of settling new New Zealanders is easier than it was for her family. Rez is also involved with Refugee Services, Refugees as Survivors, UN Youth, Amnesty International, Auckland Multicultural Society, the Equal Justice Project, and is the director and founder of the Kurdish Youth Association in New Zealand.

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