Mahi Ramakrishnan

Mahi Ramakrishnan is a migration specialist and runs a non-profit organisation, Beyond Borders Malaysia, which works to promote and protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons, who are fleeing internal conflicts and persecution in their home countries.

She has been working with the forced migration communities for 17 years now: connecting refugees and migrant workers with the Malaysian society through performing arts; creating platforms for them to speak up; creating awareness about forced migration through her investigative documentaries and lobbying the Malaysian government for comprehensive policies, including the right to work for refugees.

Working with women refugees who have experienced conflict, she creates opportunities for them to speak up about their experiences and the need for peace and reconciliation through the annual refugee festival, which Mahi founded seven years ago. She also uses this festival as a platform to connect refugee artists with the larger Malaysian society.

A multiple award-winning filmmaker and investigative journalist, Mahi explores issues such as trafficking, displacement, child sex trade, child brides, forced labour, hate speech and violent extremism through her documentaries.

Mahi is currently pursuing her MA in Refugee Protection And Forced Migration Studies at the University of London.

To me, making an impact is about empowering vulnerable, marginalised and disenfranchised communities to stand up and speak out about their rights, dreams and aspirations. My job is to continue to create platforms and opportunities for them to do so.

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