Yousuf Syed Khan is a Senior Lawyer with Global Rights Compliance, where he co-leads a team of international and local lawyers to implement a national investigative strategy on accountability for starvation as a method of warfare in Ukraine.
He has over 12 years’ legal experience dealing with complex conflict situations, with specific expertise on the contributions and practice of UN atrocity inquiries. Yousuf has served to four commissions / investigative accountability bodies established by the UN Human Rights Council (Syria; South Sudan; Belarus; and Ethiopia). In these capacities, he conceptualised and led the drafting of over a dozen public UN reports – including the first ever report by a UN-mandated mechanism on starvation as a method of warfare. Several of his most visible legal contributions have centred on the use of siege warfare, attacks against objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and forced displacement as a warring strategy.
In addition to these roles, Yousuf worked in human rights with the UN in Afghanistan (both in Kabul and in a Taliban stronghold on the southeast border with Pakistan); led a team monitoring the post-ISIL administration of justice countrywide with the UN in Iraq; and served with the Trial Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Before joining the United Nations, he was a Legal Consultant to Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, analysing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, and worked as a Legal Adviser on issues of belligerent occupation and de facto annexation in the Golan Heights. Yousuf has published various peer-reviewed articles and chapters in renowned international journals and edited volumes. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an Advanced LL.M. in Public International Law from Leiden University. Having worked in 10 countries across four continents, he currently operates between Kyiv and Geneva.