POSTPONED: The Torkel Opsahl Memorial Lecture 2017: The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
The 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders - and present challenges two decades after the adoption.
This year's Torkel Opsahl Lecture will be held by Jan E. Helgesen.
This year's Torkel Opsahl lecturer Jan E. Helgesen. Photo: Thomas Haugersveen
Jan E. Helgesen, served as Chairman-Rapporteur (1993-1998) for the working group who wrote and negotiated the text of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders - a statement that has remained among the key priorities in Norway's official foreign policy to this date. He has been Norway's representative in the Venice Commission since the establishment in 1990, and he served as the President of the Commission in 2007-2009 and Vice President until 2016.
In this lecture, Helgesen will start with the drafting history of the UN 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, followed by an analysis of the main elements of the Declaration.
Next year, the Declaration will pass its 20th anniversary. The world – and Europe – has undergone substantial changes during these two decades. This has also seriously affected the work and security of human rights defenders. In the last part of the lecture, Jan Helgesen will present some of the challenges of the defenders today, primarily seen from his perspective in the Venice Commission.