Professor Siobhán Mullally Elected First Chairperson of Platform of Independent Experts on Refugee Rights

Feb 22 2024 Posted: 16:42 GMT

Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of University of Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights, was elected as the first Chairperson of the newly established Platform of Independent Experts on Refugee Rights. The Platform brings together United Nations Special Procedures, Treaty bodies, and regional human rights mechanisms to advocate for protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers globally.

Commenting on the launch of the Platform, Professor Siobhán Mullally said:

"The Platform is being launched at a time when persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations, have resulted in record numbers of people displaced and forced to seek protection. At the same time, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are increasingly threatened by a denial of the right to seek asylum. We are witnessing increasingly punitive measures adopted by states, collective expulsions, deprivation of liberty, limited access to asylum procedures, as well as hostility and xenophobia worldwide.

Against this background, it is urgent that we work together across international and regional human rights bodies, to mobilise the full potential of international law and the promised universality of human rights protections. I hope that this global platform will be an effective advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, recognising the fundamental right to seek asylum, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a foundation of our shared responsibility to provide a place of refuge."

The Platform is currently composed of the mandates of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (Professor Siobhán Mullally), and on the human rights of migrants, the Working Group on arbitrary detention, the UN Committee against torture, the Special Rapporteur on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Rapporteurship on the rights of migrants of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Platform is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.