Razia Sultana

Lawyer and Rohingya Human Rights Activist

Region(s): Asia
Country of focus: Bangladesh, Myanmar
Based in Chittagong


Current Occupation: Lawyer and Rohingya Human Rights Activist
Organization/Institution: RW Welfare Society
Language: English, Hindi, Bangla

Razia Sultana (@AdvRaziaSultana) is a lawyer, human rights activist and Chairperson of the RW Welfare Society (Rights for Women), a grassroots organization based in Bangladesh working to prevent human trafficking and to support refugee women. Her work focuses on trauma, mass rape, and trafficking of Rohingya girls and women.

Born in Myanmar but raised in neighbouring Bangladesh, Razia has been a courageous advocate for Rohingya rights and works with some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar region of  Bangladesh.

In 2018, she published two ground-breaking reports: “Witness to Horror” in 2017, and “Rape by Command: Sexual violence as a weapon against the Rohingya,” exposing the widespread and systematic use of sexual violence by the Myanmar army as a weapon against the Rohingya in Rakhine state. She is a senior researcher with Kaladan Press Network, an independent and non-profit Rohingya news agency.

She was awarded the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Women of Courage Award and was a civil society Rohingya representative at the UN Security Council. In April 2018 Razia addressed the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict on the Rohingya crisis.

Razia is described as one of the pillars of the 2021 documentary film Living Without A Country , chronicling the genocide of the Rohingya people. The filmmakers met her at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh where they recorded testimonies from people who for the first time dared to express the traumatic experiences they had lived.