Good breaking news: Mary Lawlor the new UN special rapporteur for human rights defenders

March 16, 2020

Human rights defender Mary Lawlor has been appointed as UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Michel Forst, the current special rapporteur, is stepping down after six years in the role [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/03/05/michel-forst-in-his-latest-and-last-report-to-the-council-focuses-on-hrds-in-conflict-zones/]. This is excellent news as Mary Lawlor has enormous experience in human rights, as a previous director of Amnesty International Ireland and as a founder of Front Line Defenders (FLD). She led FLD from 2001 until her retirement in 2016, overseeing its growth to become a global organisation providing resources for the protection and security of human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk. Ms Lawlor helped spearhead civil society efforts to bring the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders into effect and became a recognised leader in focusing on attention on the unique protection needs of HRDs.Remarking on the announcement, Andrew Anderson, executive director at Front Line Defenders, said: “Mary Lawlor is an excellent choice as UNSR, she has huge experience of working with human rights defenders in all world regions with a focus on creative and practical support and she has the empathy, tact and tenacity to make a considerable impact.” [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/10/08/front-line-defenders-announces-steady-hand-andrew-anderson-as-new-executive-director/]

https://www.irishlegal.com/article/mary-lawlor-appointed-un-special-rapporteur-for-human-rights-defenders

2 Responses to “Good breaking news: Mary Lawlor the new UN special rapporteur for human rights defenders”


  1. […] Michel Forst, the outgoing UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/03/16/good-breaking-news-mary-lawlor-the-new-un-special-rappo…%5D and Michael Taylor, the Director of the International Land Coalition […]


  2. […] UN special rapporteur for human rights defenders, reportes the Irish Legal on 6 May 2020 [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/03/16/good-breaking-news-mary-lawlor-the-new-un-special-rappo…%5D.  In spite of all the (sometimes understandable) criticism of the UN and its procedures, I would […]


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