Background: Dr. Agnes Callamard was appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on 1 August 2016. Originally from France, Dr. Callamard is the Director of Global Freedom of Expression at Columbia University. She was also previously the executive director of Article 19. Dr. Callamard founded the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership and has worked alongside the secretary general of Amnesty International and as their research-policy coordinator. She has led human rights investigations in more than 30 countries and published extensively, in both English and French, on human rights, women’s rights, freedom of expression, refugee movements and the methodology of human rights investigation.
The duties of her mandate include:
(a) To continue to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in all circumstances and for whatever reason, and to submit his or her findings on an annual basis, together with conclusions and recommendations, to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, and to draw the attention of the Council to serious situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that warrant immediate attention or where early action might prevent further deterioration;
(b) To continue to draw the attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to serious situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that warrant immediate attention or where early action might prevent further deterioration;
(c) To respond effectively to information that comes before him or her, in particular when an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution is imminent or threatened or when such an execution has occurred;
(d) To enhance further his or her dialogue with Governments, as well as to follow up on recommendations made in reports after visits to particular countries;
(e) To continue to monitor the implementation of existing international standards on safeguards and restrictions relating to the imposition of capital punishment, bearing in mind the comments made by the Human Rights Committee in its interpretation of article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Second Optional Protocol thereto;
(f) To apply a gender perspective in his or her work.
In carrying out his/her mandate, the Special Rapporteur:
- Transmits urgent appeals to Governments and other actors with regard to individuals reported to be at risk of imminent extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, as well as communications on past alleged cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (see Individual Complaints);
- Undertakes country visits to examine the situation of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the respective country, and to formulate recommendations to the Government and other actors on upholding the right to life;
- Submits annual reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on the activities of the mandate and on the situation worldwide in regard to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and his recommendations for more effective action to combat this phenomenon.