For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/SG/A/130
Release Date: 21 August 2000
Secretary-General Names Hina Jilani, Pakistan,
As Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders

 NEW YORK, 18 August (UN Headquarters) -- Today the Secretary-General appointed Hina Jilani of Pakistan as his Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders.

 The Commission on Human Rights in April of this year requested the Secretary-General to appoint a special representative to report on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in all parts of the world and on possible means to enhance their protection in full compliance with the "Declaration on Human Rights Defenders".

 The appointment is made for a period of three years.

 Ms. Jilani is a practicing lawyer in Lahore, Pakistan, specializing in human rights issues.  In 1980, she founded the first women's law firm in Pakistan.

 She has also served as an expert to United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

 Work on the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders first began in 1984 in the Commission for Human Rights, and was eventually adopted by consensus in the General Assembly in December 1998.  It is the first United Nations instrument designed to recognize, promote and protect the work of Human Rights Defenders.

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