Back Dunja Mijatović ends her term as Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Dunja Mijatović ends her term as Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

“At the end of my term as Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, I am both grateful and reflective. Over the past six years, I have witnessed the extraordinary commitment to human rights displayed by partners of my Office, and by ordinary citizens in the face of an ever-changing landscape of politics, technology and social issues. At the same time, I have seen the harm that the current challenges to human rights can do to our societies.

The escalation of conflicts, most notably Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, has underlined the fragility of peace and the dire consequences of disregarding international law and human rights.

The global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid development of digital technologies have tested our resilience and adaptability.

These challenges, together with the continuing erosion of the rule of law, challenges to the universality of human rights, and the resurgence of intolerance and increasing hostility towards human rights defenders and journalists, underscore the critical importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Throughout my tenure, the dedication of NGOs, journalists, activists and other partners has been a constant source of inspiration. Their unwavering commitment to the defence of human rights, often at great personal risk, has reinforced my belief in the power of collective action and the enduring relevance of our principles.

As my term ends, I am encouraged by the progress that has been made in the field of human rights, but mindful of the work that remains to be done. It is important to continue engaging on issues related to the environment and artificial intelligence. Environmental issues may have far-reaching implications for human rights protection. At the same time, as AI technologies advance, it's crucial to ensure that their development is compliant with human rights standards.

Finally, there is a crucial need to engage with and to enable the full participation of young people and their organisations in all future discussions. Governments should empower young people to make choices and meaningfully influence their future.

The challenges are formidable, but not insurmountable and I remain hopeful that with perseverance, advocacy and an unwavering commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, a more inclusive and just society can be built.”

Strasbourg 30/03/2024
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