Kolbassia Haoussou is head of the UK’s only torture survivor-led activist network Survivors Speak OUT (SSO). Kolbassia co-founded the national network in 2007 with the support of Freedom from Torture. SSO empowers torture survivors to speak out based on their first-hand experiences and to deliver advocacy interventions on issues related to the impact and aftermath of torture, securing protection, and rehabilitation.
Kolbassia represents the Survivors Speak OUT network as lead survivor advocate in high-level advocacy spaces in the UK and internationally and in direct advocacy with key targets. He has addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, and in 2014 delivered a keynote speech alongside William Hague and Angelina Jolie at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. He plays an important ongoing role in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) as a board member and as one of the UK PSVI Survivor Champions. He works alongside the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, Lord Ahmad, to ensure that survivors are driving policy and at the centre of decision-making as independent experts. Kolbassia is also a board member of the London School of Economics and Centre for Woman Peace and Security.