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Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti

Introduction

In 1995, the Commission on Human Rights adopted esolution 1995/70 which established the mandate of an Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. In June 2013, the Human Rights Council appointed Mr. Gustavo Gallón as the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. Mr. Gallón took up his functions officially on 1 August 2013.
 
Gustavo Gallón is the fourth Independent Expert of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Haiti. He graduated as a lawyer from Colombia’s Externado University in 1974 with a specialization in Public Law at the same University (1975) and has a Masters in Political Science from the University of Paris I (1978) and a PhD in Political Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1978-1983). Mr. Gallón has more than 30 years’ experience as a human rights defender and a university professor on Public Law and Human Rights. Previously Mr. Gallón had been the Special Representative of the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights for Equatorial Guinea from 1999 to 2002. He founded the Colombian Commission of Jurists in 1988 and has been its director since then.

Overview of the mandate

The original resolution 1995/70 adopted by the Commission on Human Rights requested the Secretary-General to appoint an Independent Expert to provide assistance to the Government of Haiti in the area of human rights, to examine the development of the situation of human rights in Haiti and to monitor the fulfillment by Haiti of its obligations in this field.

The mandate has changed over the years to respond to the evolving situation in the country and now includes a focus on technical assistance and capacity-building (agenda item 10 of the Human Rights Coucil). It is now guided by the Human Rights Council Presidential Statement 22/2 (16 April 2013). In its Presidential Statement, the Council:

  1. encouraged the Independent Expert to work with international institutions, donors and the international community to raise their awareness of the need to provide their expertise and sufficient resources to support the Haitian authorities’ efforts to rebuild the country and pursue sustainable development.
  2. encouraged the Independent Expert to work with Haitian non-governmental organizations and civil society in Haiti.
  3. invited the Independent Expert to assist the Government of Haiti in acting upon the recommendations made in the course of the universal periodic review.
  4. requested the Independent Expert to provide his experience, expertise and contribution to the cause of human rights, including civil and political rights and with particular emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights, in Haiti.
  5. invited the Independent Expert mandate holder to assist the Government of Haiti in acting upon the recommendations made by the special procedures, in particular those of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.

The Council also invited the Independent Expert mandate holder to undertake a mission to Haiti and to report to the Council at its twenty-fifth session (March 2014). It encouraged Haiti to continue to cooperate with the mandate and is ready to support Haiti in establishing a national human rights plan.  

Working methods

The Independent Expert
a) Monitors and investigates human rights violations, transmits urgent appeals and letters to Haiti on alleged violations of human rights;
b) Undertakes country visits to Haiti and to the region and engages with relevant stakeholders;
c) Submits reports to the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Haiti; and
d) Engages publicly on issues of concern, including through press releases.

Submission of information and Contact details:

Information relevant for the mandate holder is very much welcomed and can be sent to ie-haiti@ohchr.org.

Latest news:


More press releases and statements

Independent Expert

Mr. Gustavo GALLÓN
(Colombia), 2013

Previous Independent Experts

Mr. Michel FORST
(France), 2008-2013
Mr. Louis JOINET
(France), 2002-2008
Mr. Adama DIENG
(Senegal), 1995-2001