Aya Fujimura-Fanselow

Senior Lecturing Fellow
Supervising Attorney, International Human Rights Clinic


Aya Fujimura-Fanselow is Senior Lecturing Fellow and Supervising Attorney of the Duke International Human Rights Clinic. Prior to joining Duke Law in Fall 2017, Aya developed extensive expertise in human rights advocacy, clinical teaching, fact-finding, research, litigation, capacity-building, and coalition-building within the United States and abroad. Her work has primarily focused on gender and human rights, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights; transitional justice; reproductive rights; and criminal justice with a focus on pre-trial detention.

Most recently, at ESCR-Net (International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) she strategically developed and coordinated collective advocacy projects to advance women’s economic, social, and cultural rights. Previously, at the International Center for Transitional Justice, based in New York and Kathmandu, Nepal, Aya spearheaded efforts to integrate gender into all aspects of transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal. As Legal Adviser for International Litigation and Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, she developed cases to protect and promote women’s reproductive rights before regional and international fora. Upon graduating from law school, as a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow based at Bread for the City, she provided legal services to immigrant women to obtain or maintain public benefits and engaged in community outreach and systemic reform efforts. Additionally, while based in Mexico City, she undertook a range of consultancies with key national and international non-governmental organizations (NGO), including Amnesty International, US Human Rights Network, Open Society Foundations, and GIRE, a Mexico City-based reproductive rights NGO.

Her previous teaching experience consists of her work as Crowley Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School where she led fieldwork and taught a seminar to investigate and subsequently develop advocacy strategies to respond to the human rights violations resulting from the excessive and arbitrary use of pretrial detention in Bolivia.

In addition to serving as a contributing author or researcher on various publications, she was lead author on a report emerging from the Bolivia project (“We are Left to Rot”: Arbitrary and Excessive Pretrial Detention in Bolivia (2013)).

Raised in New York and Tokyo, Aya received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, where she was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics. Upon graduating, she was awarded a post-graduate Tolan Fellowship in Human Rights and the National Association of Women Lawyers Award for outstanding law graduate. She received her B.A. with honors from Bryn Mawr College. She is fluent in Spanish and Japanese.