SUBAJINI JAYASEKARAN | ADVISOR
As an Advisor at Shift, Subajini works with companies and other strategic partners to support their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
Suba brings extensive operational experience working on children’s and women’s rights. Prior to joining Shift, she worked for 17 years with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in Asia and Africa and global headquarters in New York and Geneva. Suba was the architect of UNICEF’s Better Business for Children initiative, positioning UNICEF as one of the leading organizations working with business to create positive impact for women and children in workplaces and across global supply chains. Suba also played a key role in the development of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, a framework for businesses to respect and support children’s rights, building directly on the UN Guiding Principles.
Suba has worked on child rights in a range of business sectors – from the apparel sector in Bangladesh, to footwear factories in Vietnam, palm oil plantations in Indonesia, and cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire. She began her career at UNICEF working in humanitarian and conflict programming in Sri Lanka and Sudan. Here, she managed child protection programs, building the capacity of government and civil society and strengthening systems for social work, social protection, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing and justice for children. She has developed information management systems to monitor child rights violations in conflict and led programs to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Suba created a social media project called Nyaanum to explore diversity and inclusion in travel storytelling. Through the project, she worked with local and indigenous communities to create a series of short Instagram videos capturing everyday life from their perspective. The videos were featured on the UN Biodiversity Instagram channel, reaching an audience of 300,000.
Suba has published on business and children’s rights, writing about family-friendly workplace policies, and children as stakeholders in the financial sector. She has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.