Dr. Sarah Chynoweth has worked at the interface of research, policy, and practice in humanitarian affairs and human rights since 2003. She has pioneered applied research and fact-finding missions on reproductive health, sexual violence, and accountability in conflict and disaster settings, and has helped advance sexual and reproductive health in the humanitarian sector.
Sarah founded and leads the Sexual Violence Project at the Women's Refugee Commission. She is also a Research Fellow at the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and an Adjunct Lecturer in Health, Rights and Development at the University of New South Wales. Sarah led the first studies on sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis for UNHCR (2017), in the Rohingya crisis (2018), and along the Central Mediterranean Route into Italy (2019). She also led the first fact-finding mission on sexual and reproductive health among Iraqi refugees in Jordan in 2007 and was a member of the inter-agency MISP assessment team after post-earthquake Haiti in 2010. As part of her doctoral work, Sarah developed a framework to enhance socializing accountability in humanitarian settings. From 2009 to 2011, she headed International Planned Parenthood Federation’s SPRINT Initiative to support the capacity development of local reproductive health providers across 28 countries in the Asia Pacific. In 2004, she helped co-found Circle of Health International, an NGO focused on women’s and girls’ health in conflict and disasters.
Sarah lives in Kuala Lumpur and writes science fiction in her spare time.
New York Times Letter to the Editor (July 2019) - Protecting LGBTQ refugees
Forced Migration Review article (June 2019) - Ethics and accountability in researching sexual violence against men and boys
Women’s Refugee Commission report (March 2019): “More than one million pains”: Sexual violence against men and boys along the Central Mediterranean Route into Italy