Smita Narula is a visiting research scholar at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College. Both her scholarship and clinical work focus on key human rights issues, including the impact of economic globalization and counter-terrorism policies on human rights, and the accountability of corporations and international financial institutions for human rights abuses. She has authored numerous publications on these and other human rights subjects, and regularly briefs U.N. agencies, international human rights mechanisms, government officials, civil society groups, and the media on her findings.
Narula directs and undertakes key research and advocacy initiatives on economic and social rights, including the right to food and access to land and natural resources. Her 2013 article on the subject, The Global Land Rush: Markets, Rights, and the Politics of Food, critically assesses market- and rights-based responses to the global phenomenon of agricultural “land grabbing.” Narula is project director and co-author of the recent IHRC and ESCR-Net report The Price of Steel: Human Rights and Forced Evictions in the POSCO-India Project, and together with ESCR-Net, co-founded and directs the Business and Human Rights Documentation Project. In 2008, Narula was appointed legal adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. Before joining NYU in 2003, she spent six years at Human Rights Watch, first as the organization’s India researcher and later as Senior Researcher for South Asia. A world-renowned expert on caste discrimination, Narula authored the award-winning book Broken People: Caste Violence Against India’s “Untouchables” and helped found India’s National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights and the International Dalit Solidarity Network.