Madeleine Rees

Secretary general at WILPF

Lawyer and current Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.


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Why you should listen

Madeleine Rees became a lawyer in 1990. She worked for a major British law firm, becoming a partner in 1994. There, she specialized in discrimination law, being particularly involved in the area of employment, and also specialized in public and administrative law. Madeleine worked on behalf of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission, where she helped establish rights for individuals under domestic law. Discrimination cases brought by Madeleine have been heard at both the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. In 1998, she started working as Head of Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a gender expert for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She helped expose human rights abuses related to the sex trade in Bosnia by testifying in support of Kathryn Bolkovac, a United Nations International Police Force monitor who was hired to help end sexual abuse and forced prostitution in Bosnia. Kathryn revealed the use of forced prostitution and sex trafficking by members of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This issue was later turned into a movie called The Whistleblower. Madeleine was portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave.

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