Dunja Mijatovic elected Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: OSCE/Alexander Kim

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) elected Dunja Mijatovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina as the new Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Mijatovic was elected for a non-renewable term of six years starting on April 1, 2018.

She obtained a total of 107 of the votes in the second round of voting; France’s Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ obtained 103 votes and Goran Klemencic of Slovenia obtained 19 votes.

Prior to the vote, Klemencic sent a note to PACE members, expressing his support to Mijatovic and emphasizing her excellent references, professionalism and knowledge.

Mijatovic told media in Bosnia and Herzegovina that she was honored to be elected and that this was a great victory for BiH. She also said that what Klemencic had done was crucial and that he had demonstrated what the region’s unity means.

Furthermore, Mijatovic expressed hope that her success would serve as an incentive to other successful people from Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply for international posts.

From 2010 to 2017, Dunja Mijatovic was the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Previously, she served as Director of Broadcasting at the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was also the Chairperson of the European Platform of Media Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) and she chaired the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on freedom of expression and information in times of crisis.

Mijatovic has been awarded several prizes for her work in the field of human rights.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the 47 CoE Member States; identify possible shortcomings in the law and practice concerning human rights; and facilitate the activities of national ombudsperson institutions and other human rights structures.

The Commissioner makes regular visits to the member States to engage in dialogue with governments and civil society and draw up reports on issues falling within his or her mandate.