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 2024 Asia Foundation Development Fellow 



Mariyam Shunana aims to create a positive impact on society via legal aid, legal awareness, advocacy, lobbying, and legal reform work. Shunana is the founder of the first-ever law center in the Maldives, the Public Interest Law Centre, which provides free legal aid services in a wide area for socially and economically marginalized individuals. Shunana has successfully litigated as lead counsel in the two largest class-action cases (legal aid cases) in the history of the Maldives. Shunana has secured numerous other precedent‐setting victories throughout her career. She has litigated as lead counsel in the most notable public interest lawsuits submitted to the Maldivian courts, which include the first gerrymandering lawsuit, data privacy lawsuit, and climate change cases. In recognition of her substantial contributions to the legal field, Shunana received a national award from the president of the Maldives in 2022.