University of Galway human rights expert elected chairperson of UN-backed refugee rights body

Thursday, 29 February 2024

SIobhán Mullally
Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway and UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

Professor Siobhán Mullally has been elected chair of a newly-established body supported by the United Nations to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.

The Platform of Independent Experts on Refugee Rights (PIERR) was established by a group of UN and regional independent human rights experts in December 2023 and aims to better co-ordinate joint advocacy initiatives.

Professor Mullally is Director of Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway and UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Professor Mullally, said: “The platform is being launched at a time when persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations, have resulted in record numbers of people displaced and forced to seek protection.

“At the same time, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are increasingly threatened by a denial of the right to seek asylum. We are witnessing increasingly punitive measures adopted by states, collective expulsions, deprivation of liberty, limited access to asylum procedures, as well as hostility and xenophobia worldwide.

“Against this background, it is urgent that we work together across international and regional human rights bodies, to mobilise the full potential of international law and the promised universality of human rights protections.

“I hope that this global platform will be an effective advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, recognising the fundamental right to seek asylum, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a foundation of our shared responsibility to provide a place of refuge.” 

The platform is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

The expert panel includes Gehad Madi, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Siobhán Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children; Priya Gopalan (Chair-Rapporteur), Matthew Gillett (Vice-Chair on Communications), Ganna Yudkivska (Vice-Chair on Follow-Up), Miriam Estrada-Castillo, and Mumba Malila of the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention; Claude Heller, Chair of the UN Committee against torture; Selma Sassi-Safer, Commissioner and Special Rapporteur on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; José Luis Caballero Ochoa, Commissioner and Rapporteur on the rights of migrants of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Ends

Keywords: Press.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
« Back


Featured Stories