Protection International joined 130 partners around the world in co-signing a document intedend to help with the selection and appointment of the next UN expert on human rights defenders.

 

Protection International joined 130 partners around the world in co-signing a document meant to help with the selection and appointment of the next UN expert on human rights defenders.Together with other 130 organisations, Protection International co-signed a public document setting out the criteria for the selection and appointment of the new UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. The document aims to support all stakeholders in better identifying and reaching out to highly qualified and independent candidates for the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

 

To read the proposed criteria for selection and appointment of a new mandate holder on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, please click here.

 

We call on Governments, NGOs and others, including relevant professional networks, to use this checklist of criteria to identify eligible candidates for the upcoming vacancy for the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. We urge Governments to consult civil society and human rights defenders in their countries, and to disseminate the vacancy widely so as to encourage candidates to apply for this vacancy. In particular, we encourage nominations of human rights defenders from marginalised groups or from communities and identities that are under-represented among Special Procedures mandate holders, including women and gender diverse persons.

 

If your organisation would like to endorse the criteria, please sign on here.

 

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders plays a key role in the recognition and protection of those who promote and defend human rights. The appointment of independent, impartial, competent and expert persons from all regions of the world as mandate holders is essential to ensuring a well-functioning system of Special Procedures, which, in turn, is of crucial importance to the functioning of the Human Rights Council. The selection and appointment of mandate holders, through a transparent and merit based process, on the basis of relevant expertise for the mandate in question, real and perceived independence, impartiality, personal integrity and objectivity are of crucial importance for the effective functioning of the mandates.

 

This document provides information on the application process for candidates, formal criteria for selection of a mandate holder, and a checklist of criteria intended as an interpretive aid for those criteria. States may use the document to strengthen national consultations processes for the identification of suitable candidates. It is also intended as a checklist that can be used by the Human Rights Council’s Consultative Group and the President of the Council to ensure that only highly qualified and independent candidates are considered and appointed.

 

As Michel Forst’s term as mandate holder comes to an end, his successor is meant to be appointed by the Human Rights Council in March 2020.

 

The application information is now available on the OHCHR website, and the deadline is 17th October 2019.