Mary Lawlor: The new UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs

The NHRF congratulates Mary Lawlor for the appointment to the position as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders. She took up the position on the 1st of May, succeeding Mr. Michel Forst - who has made admirable efforts for the improvement of the protection for human rights defenders for the past six years. Mary Lawlor has been a member of NHRF’s Advisory Board since 2017.

Mary Lawlor has a long experience working with the situation of human rights defenders. She is the founder and board member of the organization Front Line Defenders, which since 2001 has aimed at the provision of resources for the protection and security of human rights defenders at risk. Prior to the foundation of Front Line Defenders, Mary was director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International (1988-2000). Moreover, she played a leading role for the coming into effect of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders. Mary Lawlor has therefore enjoyed wide support within the international human rights movement.

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund are pleased to have had her on our Advisory Board the last years and are now looking forward to continue the collaboration with her in her new and highly important role!

From NHRF's 30th Anniversary on the Nobel Peace Center in 2019. Mary Lawlor is here seen with the former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, and State Secretary of Utenriksdepartementet (Norge), Audun Halvorsen. Photo: Monica Orjuela/NHRF

I Defend Rights

In June 2018, Mary Lawlor shared her story as a human rights defender on our I Defend Rights platform. Listen to her story here: