Yulia Gorbunova is researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division. A lawyer by training, she has covered a variety of human rights issues in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, including freedom of assembly, association and speech, political repression, the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and the persecution of human rights defenders. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Gorbunova worked for a Sydney-based law firm that represented asylum seekers and refugees from the Asia Pacific region. She also worked for the Disability Rights Fund, a grant-making organization in Boston that advocates for the advancement of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the regions of Eastern Europe and the Global South. Gorbunova holds a master’s degree in professional communications from the University of Western Sydney and a bachelor's in law from Tyumen State University in Russia, where she concentrated on criminal law and international law. She speaks English and Russian.