UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders launches thematic website
The website tells about various types of persecution of human rights defenders and their organizations, the mandate and activities of the Special Rapporteur, UN documents and external resources for the protection of human rights defenders, as well as the latest news on the issue.
The resource covers a number of related topics: defenders in conflict zones, women human rights defenders, defenders of LGBTI rights, defenders of land, environmental rights and corporate accountability, and defenders fighting against corruption and impunity. The website tells the stories of human rights defenders from different countries and regions, who have been harassed for their professional activities.
The website presents a Belarusian case: the portrait of Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and Vice-President of the FIDH, under the heading “Fight Against Corruption and Impunity”.
The launch of the new website was announced by Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
In June 2014, the President of the Human rights Council appointed Michel Forst as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
Michel Forst is currently the Secretary General of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, which is the French national human rights institution (NHRI).
He has an extensive experience in human rights matters as he has held a number of leading positions in that field, such as: General Director of Amnesty International – France and of the Ligue contre le cancer, Cabinet Director at UNESCO in the social and human sciences sector, and Secretary General of the CIMADE (association in the field of migrants and refugees).
He also has substantial knowledge on the situation of human rights defenders by being a founder member of two NGOs specialized in that field: the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and Front Line Defenders.
Forst succeeds Ms. Margaret Sekaggya as Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rigths defenders (2008-2014) and Ms. Hina Jilani as Special Representative of the Secretary General on the situation of human rights defenders (2000-2008). The mandate on the situation of human rights defenders (as a special procedure) was introduced by the Commission on Human Rights established in 2000 to support the implementation of the 1998Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.