15 August 2023
In May 2020, I took up my mandate from the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, tasked with promoting the effective implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
I set out my priorities in my first report to the UN General Assembly later that year and have since strived to meet them, focusing on direct contact with human rights defenders – in particular those at high risk – and engagement with states.
At the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council earlier this year, my mandate was extended for a further three years in a clear show of support for human rights defenders around the world.
I would like to thank all the human rights defenders who have got in touch with me and my team over these last three years, as well as civil society groups and states themselves.
I would also like to thank my fellow mandate holders within the Special Procedures system at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, with whom I have collaborated to carry out much of my work.
Looking forward, I intend to continue to follow-up on the priorities I set, advocating for all states to respect the work of human rights defenders, engage with them as allies and provide them protection where they are at risk.