Human Rights Defenders: UN Special Rapporteur to Probe their current situation in Australia

Mr. Michel Forst (France) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in 2014. Michel Forst has extensive experience on human rights issues and particularly on the situation of human rights defenders. In particular, he was the Director General of Amnesty International (France) and Secretary General of the first World Summit on Human Rights Defenders in 1998.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. For more information, log on to:

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Australia:

For more information and media requests please contact:
In Canberra (during the visit): Ms. Julia Dean, UNIC (tel: +61 2 6270 9205 / mobile: +61 433 944 427 /

In Geneva (during and after the visit): Mr. Jamshid Gaziyev (+41 79 4444 355 / +41 22 917 9183 / or write to

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Australia:

You can access this media advisory at:

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /