Who should be the new UN Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders? Ravindran is my choice.

December 14, 2013

A number of protection mechanisms exist at the international, regional and national levels for the protection of Human Rights Defenders at risk. The Special Rapporteur at UN level is the prime example. We have been very fortunate with the first two mandate holders (Hina Jilani and Margaret Sekaggya) and it is crucial to ensure that the next Rapporteur in April 2014 will be of the same caliber. While in Geneva last week I came across Ravindran Daniel a human rights lawyer from India with whom I worked together in the International Commission of Jurists a long time ago. He told me – with his usual modesty – that he is a candidate for the post of HRD rapporteur. He may not have a big lobby machinery to support him but I think he should be seriously considered. Here a bit more about his impressive background. Please spread the word.Ravindran Daniel has more than twenty-five years of experience in working on human rights at all levels: local, regional and international. He has worked with the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists for eight years. He was instrumental in the establishment of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development ( Forum – Asia). He has worked as Director of Human Rights Division with the UN missions in East Timor, Libya and the Sudan. He has also worked in Cambodia and Uganda with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He has been associated with the International Secretariat (IS) of Amnesty International. In 1990, he conducted the first study on the research department of the International Secretariat. He was also a member of the group that contributed to drafting IS policy on AI’s work in the area of economic, social and cultural rights. He developed the first handbook on fact-finding and documentation of human rights violations. Based on the manual, he has conducted numerous training programmes for local groups on fact-finding and documentation of human rights violations. He designed and conducted an annual three-week human rights training and study session for human rights activists from the Asian region. The study session was conducted in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He has also been a visiting faculty member of the Mahidol University for teaching students of the Masters course in human rights. He co-edited the ‘Circle of Rights’ a manual on economic, social and cultural rights. The manual was the first of its kind in providing guidance to human rights workers on understanding and applying economic, social and cultural rights. He developed a training package for popularizing economic, social and cultural rights and has conducted training programmes at local, national and regional levels. He was engaged by UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for reviewing and revising the nine new chapters of the OHCHR Manual on Human Rights Monitoring, including editing of the language, ensuring coherence and consistency in presentation, ensuring that the materials are of utility to human rights officers in the field and the inclusion of additional examples based on field experience to illustrate the text. He has published ‘Praxis’- a resource book for human rights for activists.

One Response to “Who should be the new UN Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders? Ravindran is my choice.”


  1. […] Who should be the new UN Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders? Ravindran is my choice. […]


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