Maria Laura Canineu joined Human Rights Watch in 2013 as the Brazil Director in the Americas Division.
Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked for the federal government of Brazil in the Office of the Presidency, where she spent three years directing a team of lawyers handling the human rights portfolio. This included children’s, women’s, labor, LGBT and indigenous people's rights, as well as health and education issues.
Prior to this post, Canineu spent several years building the capacity of human rights NGOs in São Paulo, focusing on issues ranging from poverty reduction to corporate social responsibility. In her position at Human Rights Watch, she works towards engaging with the media, public officials, and local organizations to promote foreign policy in the defense of human rights.
Canineu is a graduate of the University of Warwick and Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, where she studied international development law, human rights, and international relations.