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Human rights

About us

Since 1976 HRI has promoted human rights and social justice through leadership opportunities and documentation projects, publications, events, and more recently though small grants.

All board members review applications to HRI’s Small Grants Competition, the funding for which comes from annual sales of special library collections focused on human rights.


Meet our team


Hazel Postma

Since retiring as the Associate Vice President Advancement & Alumni Relations at Douglas College, BC., Hazel has volunteered at a tourism and hospitality school in Laos and completed five assignments as a Volunteer Advisor with Catalyste+, mentoring and sharing skills in leadership, communications, marketing, and board governance. 

She has a lifelong interest in human rights and has been a member and volunteer with Amnesty International Canada for more than 30 years. She brings a passion for freedom of speech to HRI as well as an extensive background in communications. She sits on a number of community committees and boards and has received awards for her efforts, including the 2013 Queen’s Jubilee Medal for community service.

Hazel brought Living Library to Canada, extending the concept of libraries to include borrowing people in place of a book. Living Library began in Denmark as a way of breaking down stereotypes and can now be found in scores of countries, as well as across Canada at public and post-secondary libraries. Prior to her work at Douglas College, Hazel was Executive Director of Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation and earlier in her career worked as an editor, journalist, and free-lance writer on newspapers and magazines throughout BC.


Joshua Perrot

Josh Perrott has a decade of investment banking experience with various independent investment banking groups including Pope & Company, Ascendant Securities and currently with Manulife Capital Markets. He has significant experience in working with client’s senior management, evaluating investments, conducting due diligence, creating confidential selling materials, reviewing contracts, structuring transaction terms, and valuing businesses.

Josh holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree with First Class Distinction from the Queen’s School of Business. He has also earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

Josh is passionate about human rights, and he seeks to use his financial background to assist organizations that are engaged in human rights activities. He enjoys working with community organizations and looks forward to working with them on local and global scales. Josh’s other interests include hockey, basketball and travelling.


Vivien Runnels

Vivien Runnels, recently retired, was a Senior Researcher working on issues that concern social justice and health equity at the Faculties of Social Sciences and Medicine, University of Ottawa as well as a research adviser to Saint Paul University in Ontario, Canada. She holds a PhD in Population Health from the University of Ottawa, and a Master‘s degree in Disability Management in Work and Rehabilitation from City University, London, U.K. She has worked as a secondary school teacher, an adult education program coordinator, and as a university research coordinator, and in the health sector she has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor in a provincial psychiatric institution in BC. She has made a number of contributions and presentations to academic and professional publications and conferences.

Vivien continues to be a lifelong community volunteer having served in different capacities for over 35 years and as well as Human Rights Internet, has particular interests in food security, affordable and social housing, board governance, and supporting persons with developmental disabilities.


Nancy Harley

Nancy is the Director Case Management at the Workers Compensation Board Manitoba, having worked in various leadership roles in this organization for the last 23 years. Through various volunteer opportunities, Nancy finds fulfillment in helping individuals and organizations reach their goals. Nancy has a special interest in disability awareness, accessibility and return to work programming. In her spare time, she enjoys movement in nature and time spent cycling around the city and surrounding areas.


Lathika Laguwaran

Lathika is a Research Manager at the Global Strategy Lab where she oversees the day to day operations of the lab. She holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Lathika has spent the last 6 years volunteering with community organizations such as the Tamil Health Association where she is the Director of Community Health Research and with the Human Rights internet. She is passionate about community health, human rights and chronic disease research.


Kajanth Nithiyananthan​

Kajanth is the founder of Atomic Build – a product studio that helps organizations build software products. He has a Bachelors of Commerce degree from Toronto Metropolitan University with a specialization in Information Technology Management. Kajanth is interested in leveraging his expertise in commerce and technology to add value to community organizations with a focus on health and human rights.


Corinne Packer​

Corinne Packer holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Cambridge University, UK, and a PhD in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her passion has long laid in maternal health and reproductive rights but she has branched out to other health-related issues in her position as Assistant Director of the Globalization of Health and Equity at the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology and Public Health. Corinne has been involved with HRI for many years, taking on the role of Executive Director in the mid-2000s, and more recently as a regular board member. Now in the role of HRI’s Operating Manager, she is excited to be involved in the nuts and bolts of running the Small Grants Competition and seeing small grassroots initiatives in Canada make a difference.