Ms Veronica P. Fynn

PhD scholar

Cert South African Constitution (University of Witwatersrand)
LLM (York University)
Cert Refugee Studies (York University)
MPH (University of Nottingham)
BA (University of British Columbia)
BSc (Hons) (University of Ghana)

Topic or working title

‘Gender violence and the "Rule of Law": Indigenous communities in Australia and post-war Liberia.’

Abstract or summary

The gender agenda is borderless. Violence against women, clad in myriad shapes, forms, structures and categories, pervades cultures, societies and states. In particular, Indigenous women and girls in Australia and post-war Liberia, irrespective of cultural dissimilarities, are impacted disproportionately by violence (institutional, structural and physical) perpetrated and orchestrated at three main levels: domestic, national and international. The law on one end of the spectrum is seen as an emancipatory tool, yet on the other, it has also been used to discriminate against Indigenous peoples. Grounded in theories of decolonisation, (legal) feminism, and intersectionality, this research adopts a mixed methodology drawing on case law, secondary statistical data and semi-structured interviews; with the main objective of examining the application of the "rule of law" principle in restoring justice to Indigenous women and girls who have suffered gender violence (e.g. rape, forced adoption, forced marriage, deaths in custody, land dispossession, female genital cutting etc.). Unlike comparative studies, the research is founded on heuristic arguments derived from validating the formation, establishment and continuity of Indigenous critical mass bound by common collectives in charting their very own path to justice and equality. A novelty, this research promises to bolster the efficacy of the rule of law by giving agency to Indigenous women and girls' ways of being, knowing, and doing justice.

Panel members and positions

Primary Supervisor and Panel Chair:
Professor Mick Dodson, Director of NCIS and Professor at the ANU College of Law.


  • Professor D. Elwood Dunn, Alfred Walter Negley Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, Sewanee: The University of the South, USA.
  • Professor Shafik Dharamsi, Associate Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada.


Veronica Fynn holds a BSc (Ghana) awarded in 2000, BA (UBC) awarded in 2004, MPH (Nottingham) awarded in 2006, and an LLM (York) awarded in 2009. She was appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, in November 2011 to teach public health law to graduate students – a role which she fulfilled until 2014. In 2010, with a full tuition scholarship, Veronica completed a semester as a visiting research scholar at Georgetown Law Centre in Washington DC under the tutelage of Professors Larry Gostin and Oscar Cabrera. That same year, she also received certificates in South African Constitutional Law in Comparative Context and International Alternate Dispute Resolution, having completed studies at the Mandela Institute of University of Witwatersrand, in South Africa. In 2008, she co-founded EV Research with the goal of reducing the 10/90 Research & Development gap between resource-poor communities and advanced countries. Before law school, Veronica worked as a research analyst with the British Columbia Government's Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. She also worked with the Migration Health Department of the International Organisation for Migration in Geneva, where she developed a policy document on Health Consequences of Human Trafficking. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Internal Displacement, the first and only academic scholarship committed to the plight of internally-displaced persons. As an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), she founded Africa Awareness, a student-driven initiative responsible for the establishment of the first interdisciplinary African Studies Program at UBC, which partly earned her a UBC Alumni Global Citizenship Award in 2010. In her spare time, when she's not blogging on the Rights of Women in War, she's either dancing, biking, or running half-marathons. Veronica is a born and bred Liberian war survivor.



  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) "Kebbeh escapes sande bush for child abuse." EVRI Human Rights Series.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) "Miatta & Kiazula want to have education in their village." First Choice Books, 21 pgs.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) "Legal discrepancies: Internal displacement in Africa." Flowers Publications, 260 pgs.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) "Documenting the undocumented: Redefining refugee status." Universal Publisher, 173 pgs.

Book chapters

  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) 'Mother passed it on.' Feminisms in Canada and Quebec: 1960-2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) 'Refugee women and children in Africa.' in Documenting the undocumented: Redefining refugee status, Universal Publisher, 173 pgs.

Refereed articles

  • Fynn, V.P. (2013) 'Transitional justice and displacement.' 3 Journal of Internal Displacement 1 [Book Review].
  • Fynn, V.P. (2012) 'No return, no refuge: Rites and rights in minority repatriation.' 2 Journal of Internal Displacement 1 at 98-101 [Book Review].
  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) 'Liberian refugees: Access to health & education in exile,' 35 Liberian Studies Journal 1 (2010).
  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) 'Africa's last colony,' 1 Journal of Internal Displacement 2 at 40-58.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) 'Around the fringes of internal displacement,' 1 Journal of Internal Displacement 1 at 46-76.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) 'Growing up naked,' 18 International Journal of Children's Rights 1-3 [Book Review].

Non-refereed articles

  • Fynn, V.P. (2012) 'Forced migration and displacement during the Arab Spring,' 2 Journal of Internal Displacement 2 at 2-14.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2011) 'Introduction of the Journal of Internal Displacement,' TerraONuillus Blog [Guest Post].
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) 'Is the law a social determinant of health?' XXXIV CPHA Student Digest 3 at 5.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2010) 'Stigmatization and sexual & gender-based violence,' 7 Sea Breeze Journal 1 [electronic].
  • Fynn, V.P. (2006) 'Refugee women and children,' CIDA Youth Zone [on-line].


  • Fynn, V.P. (2012) UBC Africa Census: 'The State of Africa at UBC,' Vice President Research & International, UBC.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2007) Policy document: 'Migrant health and human trafficking,' Internationall Organization for Migration.
  • Fynn, V.P. (2007) Information sheet: 'Health and human trafficking,' IOM, June 2007.

Unpublished works

  • Fynn, V.P. (2008) 'Migrant services review and probable child trafficking in BC.'
  • Fynn, V.P. (2008) 'A refugee child: Struggle for health and education.'
  • Fynn, V.P. (2008) 'Determinants of human trafficking: Complex, camouflage & challenges.'
  • Fynn, V.P. (2006) 'Critical literature review: Mental health interventions for African refugees.'

Public lectures, seminars & conference papers

  • Fynn, V.P., 'Ethics and International Development in Africa', WUSC Symposium 2013 – Celebrating Africa, January 26, 2013.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Panelist on the International Criminal Court', STAND Annual Panel Discussion, Henry Angus Building, UBC, January 24, 2013
  • Fynn, V.P. 'The Other Side of African Conflict: Resilience, Survival and Success' Anqelique Kidjo Concert Pre-Show Talk, Chan Centre, UBC, October 13, 2012.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Inspirational Talk for Immigrant Women in BC' Ni Wakati Workshop Series, Douglas College, New Westminster, BC, June 30, 2012.
  • Fynn, V.P. & Lewis, H.S. 'Rights to Return, Resettle, or Reintegrate? The Case of Liberian Refugees in Ghana' Law & Society Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawai'i, June 5-8, 2012.
  • Fynn, V.P. (World Café) 'Did the Inventors of the Ottawa Charter Have Us in Mind? BC's Refugees' and Immigrants' Role in the Health Equity Agenda' Public Health Association of British Columbia Annual Conference, Richmond, BC, November 29, 2011.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Keynote Speaker) 60 Million Girls Annual Conference, Montreal, Quebec, November 16, 2011.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Glocal public health law: professional silos stagnate health equity in post-conflict settings' Global Health Conference, 2011 Global Health Conference, Montreal, Quebec, November 13-15, 2011.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Keynote Speaker) Center for Christian Leadership Graduation Ceremony, Accra, Ghana, November 11, 2011.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Say What? From Calculus to Law? Math Club Math Club Series, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, February 9, 2011.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Panelist) 'Citizens of the world: Careers in International Development' UBC Faculty of Arts Career Expo, 2011' University of British Columbia, Vancouver, January 27, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Transplanting (international) laws: cultural and traditional implications in Africa' Liu Centre for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 1, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Internationalization: an African perspective' Presentation to French 413G Class, Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, November 29, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Global leadership: perspectives from a former 'fugee' Liu Centre for Global Issues, World University Service of Canada and STAND-UBC, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, November 25, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Sexual and gender-based violence in rural Liberia: rights and access to reproductive healthcare' 20th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, Geneva, Switzerland, July 11-15, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Public health and law: social rights for African immigrant and refugee children economic & Social rights in Canada' Student Centenary Committee, CPHA Annual Conference, Toronto June 13, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Sexual violence as war crimes in post-war Liberia: restoring justice to women & children', 42nd Liberian Studies Association Conference, Temple University, Philadelphia, March 24-27, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Guest Speaker) 'Global scan: human trafficking in the 21st century' International Development Conference, Queens University, Ontario, March 12-13, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Keynote Speaker) 'Faites attention sur #2: Universal Primary Education by the year 2015' WUSC Symposium, University of Waterloo, Ontario, March 6, 2010.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Supporter & Observer of All Three Round-table Discussion) 14th Annual Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies & 6th Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, NY, December 10-11, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Health and human trafficking: a framework for policy makers' PHABC Annual Conference, Vancouver, November 23-24, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Global citizen in your daily live: focus on research' WUSC Annual General Assembly, Ottawa, November 14–15, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Mo' laws = mo' movements: doses of legal jeopardy for internally displaced persons' Feminist Friday, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, October 23, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Western models vs. African diagnoses: examination of cultural-sensitive psychological interventions' Annual Health & Well-Being Conf., YIHR, York Uni, Toronto, June 5, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'African women and children in motion: focus on regional and international laws' Canadian Association for Forced Migration Studies, Ottawa, June 1-2, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Outside the grim of push & pull factors: a forced migration perspective' The Migration of Health Professionals & Its Impact on Health Human Resource Planning, Novotel Hotel, Ottawa, May 29, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Refugee rights to health and education' 12th Annual World Federation of Public Health Association, Turkey, Apr 27 – May 1, 2009.
  • Fynn, V.P. (Head Organizer) 'Documenting the undocumented: redefining refugee status annual student Conference, Centre for Refugee Studies, April 16 – 17, 2009.
  • [Delegate] Women building peace Conference, Ottawa, February 15 – 17, 2009.
  • [Delegate] Canadian Council for Refugee consultation, Toronto, November 27 – 29, 2008.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Refugee women and children right(s) to health and education in crises situation' 15th Canadian Conference on International Health, Ottawa, October 26 – 29, 2008.
  • Fynn, V.P. 'Psychological interventions for war affected refugees in Africa' Western Regional International Health Conference, SFU, Burnaby, May, 2008.
  • [Delegate] International Women Day Panel Forum, UN Palais, Geneva, Switzerland, May 8, 2007.
  • [Delegate] Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Romeo Dallaire, UN Palais, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007.
  • [Delegate] Internal workshop on counter traffic.

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