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ISHR releases guidelines on the appointment of UN human rights experts
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 08:57


(Geneva, 3 September 2013) – The International Service for Human Rights, along with Amnesty International and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has released a checklist for the selection and appointment of a new UN expert on human rights defenders.


The position of ‘Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders’, mandated by the Human Rights Council, will become vacant in April 2014 when the existing mandate holder – Margaret Sekaggya from Uganda – will leave office after two terms of three years.


‘The Human Rights Council’s independent human rights experts are among the most accessible and valuable tools for human rights defenders,’ said Michael Ineichen, Human Rights Council Advocacy Director at the International Service for Human Rights.


‘The expert on human rights defenders plays a crucial role in supporting and protecting human rights defenders and ensuring that their work is not subject to unlawful restrictions. This is especially important where domestic protection systems are inadequate, ineffective or non-existent’, Mr Ineichen said.


The checklist, contained in a written statement submitted to the 24th session of the Human Rights Council, sets out the minimum requirements that prospective candidates must fulfil. It seeks to ensure the position continues to be occupied by an individual with the required high qualifications and independence. The checklist is intended to be used by all stakeholders to assist in the identification of and outreach to highly qualified and independent candidates for vacant positions. States may also use the document to strengthen national consultations processes for the identification of suitable candidates.


‘It’s imperative that the criteria used to measure prospective candidates take full account of the specific challenges faced by human rights defenders,’ Mr Ineichen said. ‘For example, the candidate should have demonstrated experience in developing legislation and policy for the protection of human rights defenders and in creating an enabling environment for their work.’


The checklist is also intended for use by the Council’s Consultative Group and the President of the Human Rights Council to ensure that only highly qualified and independent candidates are considered and appointed.


Download the checklist here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 08:59

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