About Ihsanullah Khan
Ihsanullah Khan is a lawyer and mediator, who has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for over seventeen years around the world. He currently works in the Sudan, coordinating the country’s Protection Cluster Working group and UNHCR for the protection and assistance of refugees, the internally displaced, and other vulnerable communities within the mandate of UNHCR. He has worked extensively with indigenous dispute resolution mechanisms among various communities in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan. He has assisted these communities in the revival and transformation of community-based conflict resolution practices.
Mr. Khan’s engagement with mediation and conflict resolution started at a very early age, when he assisted his father, a Pashtoon tribal leader responsible for resolving difference among his tribesmen. Growing up seeing the variety of issues brought to his father, Mr. Khan developed expertise in the traditional conflict resolution practices of the Pashtoon culture. After completing his legal studies, he began an extensive research and development program for the revival of the indigenous conflict resolution practices in Pakistan and elsewhere. As part of his research, Mr. Khan provided technical advice to local authorities in establishing court-annexed mediation centers.
While serving as a Protection Officer of UNHCR and as a trained mediator, Mr. Khan pioneered the use of mediation in promoting dialogue between Afghan refugees and Pakistani host communities in Pakistan. While working in Ethiopia and Uganda, he applied his mediation skills to promote peace among the various refugee ethnic groups in conflict.
Mr. Khan is part of UNHCR’s global pool of mediators and is also a trainer on conflict management and mediation for managers’ training programs. He is a motivational speaker and has delivered academic and motivational lectures at various institutions around the world.
Mr. Khan’s legal experience focuses on civil law and human rights, especially asylum law, refugee protection and human rights. As an expert in human rights and refugee law, he regularly provides expert opinion as “amicus curie” to courts on refugee rights and obligations. He applies international human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law in his work, and he has over twelve years’ experience in asylum law and refugee status determination.
He is a trained and certified negotiator and has successfully negotiated high profile matters in complex and highly politicized contexts.
Mr. Khan has been a mediator and a mediation systems designer for over seventeen years. He has mediated several hundred cases as part of his regular work as an UNHCR Protection Officer. He has designed and established community-based mediation centers in various countries and as part of numerous humanitarian operations.