Mr. Gustavo Gallón,
Independent Expert on
the human rights situation
© OHCHR/Gustavo Gallón
The Independent Expert on Haiti, appointed by the Human Rights Council, is tasked with reporting and advising on the situation of human rights in Haiti and assisting the Government of Haiti in fulfilling its human rights obligations.
He is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system.
The Independent Expert serves voluntarily and independently of any government or organization. He is not UN staff, although OHCHR provides him with logistical and technical assistance.
Mr. Gustavo Gallón (Colombia) is the current Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti and the fourth person to have held the mandate. He was appointed in June 2013 by the Human Rights Council and took up his functions officially on 1 August 2013. Gallón has over 30 years of experience as a human rights defender…detailed bio >>
Overview of the mandate
In 1995, the Commission on Human Rights adopted the Resolution 1995/70, which established the mandate of an Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. The Resolution 1995/70 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 fulfilment 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 Council). It is now guided by the Human Rights Council Presidential Statement 22/2 (16 April 2013). In its Presidential Statement, the Council:
- 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.
- Encouraged the Independent Expert to work with Haitian non-governmental organizations and civil society in Haiti.
- Invited the Independent Expert to assist the Government of Haiti in acting upon the recommendations made in the course of the universal periodic review.
- 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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.