Paulo Abrão is a prominent defender of human rights in the Americas, and the former Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2016-2020). Having also served as Executive Secretary of the Institute for Public Policies on Human Rights of MERCOSUR, Brazil’s Secretary of Justice, and Chairman of Brazil’s Amnesty Commission, he has advocated for the rights of victims throughout the region and has played a pivotal role in securing human rights for the most vulnerable – including refugees and survivors of trafficking – for decades.
Dr. Abrão holds a doctorate degree in law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a masters of law from the University of the Sinos Valley. A specialist in human rights and democratization processes, Dr. Abrão is a professor at the graduate law program of the Catholic University of Brasília. He has published dozens of articles and books about transitional justice and public law and has produced research at several Latin American universities, such as the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and the University of Chile. In 2006 he joined the Brazilian mission for the implementation of the University of Cape Verde. Dr. Abrão now serves as advisor to the Reference Center for Revealed Memories Project of the Public Archive of the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of Brazil. He is also the coordinator of the implementation of the Political Memorial project and is a member of the Council of Cultural Guidelines of the Resistance Museum of São Paulo, a Coalition member. Dr. Abrão hosted the Coalition’s 2010 annual meeting in São Paulo that brought together leaders from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and National Archives as well as international Coalition leaders to explore the role of memorialization as part of reparations following the Brazilian dictatorship.