- Country / Conflict-Affected Area: Somalia
- Position: Director of Programs and Development
- Organization: Elman Peace and Human Rights Center
- Expertise: Countering Violent Extremism, Human Rights, Peacebuilding
Ilwad Elman is a Somali-Canadian social activist and the Director of Programs and Development at the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Somalia. In 2014, she was appointed Ambassador to Somalia for Youth to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, an organization founded by the youth delegates to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
She has served as a speaker at numerous UN and international fora on the topic of engaging youth in countering violent extremism. Born in Somalia to two renowned peace and human rights activists, Ms. Elman fled to Canada when civil war broke out in 1991. Her father, Elman Ali Ahmed, was a pioneering human rights activist who, to this day, is referred to as the Somali father of peace. After her father’s assassination, Ms. Elman returned to Somalia in 2010 to continue the work alongside her mother, Fartuun Adan, at the human rights organization they founded, the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center.
The Elman Peace and Human Rights Center is an NGO working on human rights, protection, peacebuilding, gender justice, and education throughout South and Central Somalia. At the Center, Ilwad focuses on the socio-economic reintegration of children and youth disassociated from armed forces and groups, and supporting survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. She also leads various coordination groups in south and central Somalia to improve service delivery amongst the vast number of humanitarian actors, strengthening their referral and cooperation system, enhancing information sharing, and ensuring civil society’s initiatives are in cohesion with the federal government’s action plans.
Last Updated: February 2017