Today, on the occasion of International Migrants Day, the Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić announced the appointment of Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek as her new Special Representative on migration and refugees.
The Council of Europe has followed the situation of refugees and migrants over many years and has been particularly concerned with the protection of the most vulnerable, such as children on the move, including unaccompanied children.
The mandate of the Special Representative is to gather information on how the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees are protected on the ground in the member states, and to develop proposals for action at national and European level, including liaising with international partners.
Mr Štefánek is lawyer by training and a career diplomat and is currently the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo and previously the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the Council of Europe. Before that he was the Director General for the UN, International Organisations, EU Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. He also chaired the UN Working Group on an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Mr Drahoslav Štefánek holds a JUDr in Law from Matej Bel University and law degrees from the Bratislava and Utrecht universities.
Mr Štefánek will take up his duties on 15 January 2020.