Felix C. Morka is the Founder and Executive Director of the award winning and long-time Development and Peace partner the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC). Under his leadership, SERAC has gained global recognition for its grassroots-centered research, education, litigation, advocacy and community organizing initiatives on economic, social and cultural rights and urban development in Nigeria. SERAC was a 2010 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for its sustained defense of the rights of urban poor communities in Nigeria.
As a holder of a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the Harvard Law School, Morka has extensive experience among international organizations. Amongst others, he served as the Legal Officer for Africa for the Washington D.C.-based International Human Rights Law Group and as Legal Director of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO).
He served as Chairman of the United Nations Expert Committee that drafted the United Nations International Human Rights Guidelines on Development-based Forced Evictions and Displacements. He was also a member of the UNAIDS’ Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, as well as an expert member of the UNAIDS technical team that drafted the updated UN International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. He served as a member of the Project Steering Committee of the World Bank-Funded Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project of the Lagos State Government.
Morka was the first Martin Ennals Fellow of the European Human Rights Foundation and a Reginal Lewis Fellow of the Harvard Human Rights Program. He has presented testimonies before the Nigerian Legislature, the United States Congress and the Senate of the State of New Jersey, and meets regularly with policymakers to raise human rights concerns. Morka is also the CEO of Urban Spaces Innovation Ltd/Gte, a social housing development concern.
The Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)
Established in May 1995, the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) is a Lagos-based non-governmental and nonpartisan organization concerned with the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) in Nigeria.
SERAC seeks to build awareness about ESC rights and explore strategies for securing them. In addition, SERAC aims at broadening individuals’ and communities’ access to, and strengthening their participation in the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programs that affect them.
With the support of Development and Peace, the organization is currently implementing a civic education and citizen engagement project where community leaders are trained in popular education methods, so they can provide communities threatened of forced eviction with the knowledge and tools they need to engage in effective dialogue with the government.