Commissioner for Human Rights
The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial, non-judicial institution established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the 47 Council of Europe member states.
The objectives of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights are to:
- foster the effective observance of human rights and assist member states in the implementation of Council of Europe human rights standards;
- promote education in, and awareness of, human rights in Council of Europe member states;
- identify possible shortcomings in the law and practice concerning human rights;
- facilitate the activities of national ombudsperson institutions and other human rights structures;
- provide advice and information regarding the protection of human rights across the region.
The Commissioner's thematic work covers many areas of the campaign. He has published issue papers on the rule of law on the Internet, the rights of LGBTI persons, Roma and Travellers, refugees, women's rights and gender equality.
Nils Muižnieks was elected Commissioner for Human Rights by the Parliamentary Assembly and took up his position on 1 April 2012.
The Commissioner has voiced his support for the campaign on several occasions (for example in a recent article for ENAR) and regularly highlights the need to address hate speech with member states, for instance in France. Most recently the Commissioner spoke out against the sexist hate speech.