Mariah Grant is a human rights and migration specialist with a focus on migrant and sex workers’ rights, freedom of movement, and labor exploitation. As the Research and Advocacy Director at the Sex Workers Project she oversees SWP advocacy efforts and development of original research. Mariah has a Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratization (Asia Pacific) from the University of Sydney; she completed her thesis on the use of human rights impact assessments by sex worker rights and anti-trafficking NGOs in Thailand. In addition to her work at SWP, Mariah authors pieces for Minority Rights Group International and human rights journals, and volunteers with NGOs advocating for migrant children in US government custody, asylum seekers representing themselves in US court, and adult migrants detained in US immigration jails. Mariah co-founded her master’s program alumni association and sits on their Executive Council and is on the Advisory Council for the Refugee Assistance and Information Network (RAIN) International. Mariah has worked and studied in Asia Pacific, the Middle East/North Africa, Europe, and throughout the Americas. Within the US she has lived in Oregon, Los Angeles, and New Orleans; she currently resides in Washington, DC. Mariah is a native English speaker and a dedicated student of Spanish and Arabic.
Prior to joining SWP, Mariah was a Senior Training and Technical Assistance Specialist for ICF International. She coordinated the Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network for the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and supported other ICF projects related to migration and trafficking in persons. Mariah worked alongside migrant children and adults seeking protection in the US and Europe as a Home Studies Specialist through the US Office of Refugee Resettlement and as a Protection Referrals Focal Point through Lighthouse Relief in Greece. Mariah has also worked with the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women as a Research Consultant, the International Organization for Migration’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific as a Migrant Assistance Consultant, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders as an Associate Editor of their Global Survey, Mahidol University’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies as the Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator, and Protection International’s Thailand Protection Desk as an Advocacy Consultant. For several years Mariah worked in the customer service industry as a bartender, restaurant server, cashier, retail associate, and telemarketer in Australia and the United States.