An important factor in the scale up of the RWI programme in late 2022 was the creation, in April the same year, of a UN Special procedure on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. It was agreed, in close dialogue between the RWI Director, Richard Bennett, as the selected mandate holder, and Sida, that a Visiting Professorship would be created at RWI to host the Special Rapporteur (SR).
The expanded RWI programme is tailored to support the SR’s mandate, and the programme is enriched by the involvement of the SR. Richard contributes both as expert in activities and in the ongoing strategy development within the Afghanistan team, to ensure that the RWI programme and his mandate are mutually reinforcing.
Read more about the UNSR mandate, and reports from Richard’s work as Special Rapporteur on his OHCHR website: Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan | OHCHR
Richard Bennett is a visiting professor to RWI. Mr. Bennet was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan in April 2022 and had his mandate extended a year this October.
Mr. Bennett has served in Afghanistan on several occasions, playing an important role in in the promotion of transitional justice, child rights, rule of law, rights of people with disabilities and a range of economic, social and cultural rights as well as in the protection of civilians and human rights defenders.
He has been a long-term adviser to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and was in the past Chief of the Human Rights Service with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
He also conducted two missions in Afghanistan (2003-07 and 2018-19) as Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and head of the human rights components of peacekeeping operations. A position which led him to work in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and South Sudan.
Prior to joining the United Nations as a consultant on UN human rights assignments in Afghanistan, Myanmar and New York in 2019 Mr. Bennett worked for Amnesty International. He was first Director of its Asia-Pacific Program before becoming head of Amnesty’s United Nations Office in New York.
His other roles include being the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and head of OHCHR’s office in Nepal as well as Chief of Staff for the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka and Special Adviser to the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights in New York.
See Richard Bennett explain the role of a Special Rapporteur.
Richard Bennett - What is a special Rapporteur?