Wafa Ben-Hassine

Consultant, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Wafa Ben-Hassine is a New York qualified attorney specializing in international law and technology. She is currently Global Policy Counsel for Access Now, a global non-profit organization defending and extending human rights in the digital age. In her current role, she engages and advocates for global digital rights issues within United Nations institutions and other multilateral organizations. Ms. Ben-Hassine also manages Access Now’s policy and advocacy arms in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) as the organization’s local Policy Counsel. Ms. Ben-Hassine has considerable experience in international human rights law, human rights policy and innovation in the Arab world, and transparency in government. She holds a J.D. from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science, Public Law from the University of California, San Diego. In 2011, Ms. Ben-Hassine served as Tunisia’s first-ever legislative aide in assisting Constituent Assembly Mabrouka M’barek in drafting specific provisions in the Preamble of Tunisia’s Constitution. She is a founding member of the OpenGovTN group in Tunisia and was the lead assembler for Tunisia’s eventual state membership in the Open Government Partnership. Ms. Ben-Hassine is a former Open Technology Fund (OTF) fellowship hosted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, where she researched counter-terrorism and cybercrime laws in select Arab countries. She was also selected as a Geneva Internet Conference Fellow, a Hivos Fellow, and a United Nations Internet Governance Forum Fellow. Prior to her OTF fellowship, Ms. Ben-Hassine has interned at the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague and the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in drafting its annual human rights reports. Ms. Ben-Hassine is a member of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Advisory Network, and a board member of the Arab World Internet Institute. She has also advised several organizations such as the Association for Progressive Communications, International Media Support, and Social Media Exchange on matters related to open data, transparency, and gender and technology. She works regularly with various UN bodies and Special Procedures in assisting them with reports and consultations on international human rights law and technology. She is currently based in Tunis.