1/4/2012 â€“ Nils MuiĹľnieks takes up today the post of Council of Europe
Commissioner for Human Rights. Elected in January 2012 by the Parliamentary
Assembly, MuiĹľnieks is the third Commissioner, succeeding Thomas Hammarberg
(2006-2012) and Alvaro Gil-Robles (1999-2006).
â€śI intend to
build on the work done so far in order to develop the contribution of the
Commissionerâ€™s Office to the effective observance and full enjoyment of human
rights in member statesâ€ť said MuiĹľnieks. â€śOne essential element in this
endeavour is maintaining the independence and impartiality of the Office. I will
also continue the country and thematic work, with a particular focus on the most
vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
This is all the more important in a period when the economic crisis may
undermine the protection of human rightsâ€ť.
will concern the human rights of migrants, including, aslyum-seekers and
refugees; womenâ€™s rights and gender equality; minority rights; and the
importance of respecting human rights standards within the information society,
in particular as regards media freedom, data protection, social networking and
access to digital literacy.
will also enhance co-operation with national human rights structures with the
aim of fostering human rights oriented policies at national level and addressing
systemic shortcomings in member states.
people and objectivity in my dialogue with national authorities will
characterise my mandate. These qualities are indeed essential requisites for
anybody committed to making human rights a reality for all.â€ť
(48), of Latvian nationality, has been working in the field of human rights for
the past two decades and has acquired extensive knowledge in the field of
international human rights monitoring, training and education. Prior to his
appointment as Commissioner for Human Rights, he held prominent posts such as
Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute at the Faculty
of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia in Riga (2005-2012); Chairman of
the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); Latvian
minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination, minority
rights, and civil society development (2002-2004); and Director of the Latvian
Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies - now Latvian Human Rights Centre
The change of
mandates is also marked by the launching of the Commissioner's new
Press contact in the Commissionerâ€™s Office:
Montanari, + 33 (0)6 61 14 70 37;
Keep up to date
with the Commissioner on
For more information see: www.coe.int / www.coe.ge