Sara Hossain is a barrister practicing in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, mainly in the areas of constitutional, public interest and family law. She is a partner at the law firm of Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates, and serves pro bono as the Honorary Executive Director of the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust. She is a member of the Board of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, and associated with several international civil society initiatives (the Advisory Board of the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Advisory Committee of the Women’s International Coalition on Gender Justice (WICG) the Bureau of South Asians for Human Rights, as and the International Commission on the Chittagong Hill Tracts).
In 2016, Sara was appointed by the President of the UN Human Rights Council to serve as a member of the Group of Experts on Accountability in the DPRK, and from July 2018 to March 2019 as a member of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza Protests of 2018. Sara also participated in the Task Force on Justice, convened by Pathfinders International, focusing on SDG 16.
Sara ran the South Asia Programme at INTERIGHTS from 1997 to 2003. She was a founding board member of the South Asia Women’s Fund (now the Women’s Fund Asia) and served as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists.
Sara’s casework on women’s rights before the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has included among others, representing public interest petitioners, including BLAST, in writs challenging ‘fatwa’ violence (degrading punishments being imposed on women and girls accused of violating community norms on sexuality), ‘forced veiling’ and the use of the ‘two finger test’ as a form of medical evidence collection. She had also been involved in amicus/ third party briefs including in relation to constitutional litigation before the Supreme Court of Nepal in a case challenging marital rape as discrimination, before the European Court of Human Rights challenging the requirement of proof of force to establish rape (MC v Bulgaria), and to the ICC an amicus brief, with WICGJ and Naripokkho, on the issue of the deportation of Rohingyas from Myanmar.