Sumitha Shaanthinni Kishna

Board Member

North South Initiative


Sumitha is a board member of the North South Initiative. She is also the Co-Coordinator for Migration Working Group. Sumitha serves with several national and regional groups/coalitions to advocate for the protection and rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, trafficked persons, and foreign spouses.

Sumitha works on a number of migrant workers issues. She assists in the provision of legal representations to migrants and has been involved in collaborative research with Open Society Foundation on migrant’s access to justice in Malaysia. She is also a member of the International Steering Committee, Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

She actively participates as a member of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (AFMD) which supports the development of a more effective, durable and dignified approach to ‘forced migration. Sumitha is also a member of Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) coalition which advocates for the rights or refugees and asylum seekers.

Anne Beatrice Jacobs

Programme Manager

North South Initiative


Vasudha is a lawyer with six years of experience working with refugees. She spent four years as an eligibility officer with the UNHCR in India and China, and has handled asylum cases mainly from Burma, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia. . In 2011 she completed the RSD Learning Programme conducted by UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur. Vasudha joined The Ara Trust in 2014, and is deeply involved in its pro bono legal aid work, the development and implementation of projects, research, and fundraising.