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Vani Saraswathi is the Associate Editor and Director of Projects, Migrant-Rights.org and the author of Stories of Origin: The Invisible Lives of Migrants in the Gulf.
Vani moved to Qatar in 1999, working with several local and regional publications, and launching some of Qatar’s leading periodicals during her 17-year stint there. During her stay in Qatar she, along with likeminded people, mobilised a grassroots community to help migrants in distress. She also reported regularly on human rights issues in Qatar for publications in India.
Since 2014, in her role with Migrant-Rights.org she reports from the Gulf states and countries of origin. She also organises advocacy projects and human rights training targeting individual employers, embassies, recruitment agents and businesses in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE, working with nationals and longterm residents in these countries. A special emphasis is on female migrants, including domestic workers. Much of her advocacy effort is geared towards mainstreaming issues facing female migrant workers.
She contributes as an expert commentator on issues related to human rights in the GCC for various international publications and at international forums, including various UN forums. Migrant-Rights.org is a one of its kind bi-lingual content based advocacy platform that focusses on the GCC states and the corridors of migration, Asia & Africa. It was started 16 years ago by activist Esra’a El Shafei.
Vani divides her time between Qatar, other GCC states and India.