Background: Michel Forst was appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in June 2014. Mr. Forst has extensive experience on human rights issues, including human rights defenders, the rights of children with disabilities, extreme poverty, and the elderly. He has held a number of leading positions within the field of human rights, including the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, the Cimade (Comité inter-mouvements auprès des évacués), UNESCO, the first World Summit on Human Rights Defenders (Paris), and Amnesty International (France).
The duties of his mandate include:
- seek, receive, examine and respond to information on the situation of human rights defenders;
- establish cooperation and conduct dialogue with governments and other interested actors on the promotion and effective implementation of the Declaration;
- recommend effective strategies better to protect human rights defenders and follow up on these recommendations;
- integrate a gender perspective throughout her work.