Council of Europe’s New Human Rights Commissioner to Prioritize Ukraine

by Roman Cheplyk
Monday, April 1, 2024
Council of Europe’s New Human Rights Commissioner to Prioritize Ukraine

Michael O’Flaherty, the newly appointed Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, has announced his intention to prioritize addressing the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during his six-year term

His first official visit in this role will be to Ukraine, underlining the importance he places on responding to the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations resulting from the conflict.

O'Flaherty, who commenced his mandate today, expressed the urgency of dealing with the invasion's consequences, highlighting the significant human suffering and destruction it has caused. His commitment reflects a focused approach to mitigate the aftermath of the conflict and support Ukraine's recovery.

Besides the situation in Ukraine, O'Flaherty has identified several critical areas requiring enhanced protection of human rights. These include addressing the climate crisis, managing artificial intelligence's implications, safeguarding freedom of expression, navigating migration challenges, and combating hate speech, such as anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Furthermore, the Commissioner has expressed a strong interest in youth issues, socio-economic rights, and the protection of human rights defenders. He aims to leverage his mandate to promote the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights' decisions, ensuring a comprehensive and impactful approach to human rights advocacy across Europe.

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