On March 12th, 2020, Mary Lawlor, the founder of long-time Channel grantee partner Front Line Defenders (FLD), was appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.
Lawlor founded FLD in 2001, and under her leadership, FLD became “one of the leading organizations providing resources for the protection and security of human rights defenders at risk.” Lawlor helped spearhead civil society efforts to bring the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders into effect and became a recognized leader in focusing on attention on the unique protection needs of HRDs. The appointment is a clear recognition of her dedication to the safety, security, and wellbeing of human rights defenders at risk around the work.
Andrew Anderson, Front Line Defenders Executive Director, remarked, “Mary Lawlor is an excellent choice as UNSR, she has huge experience of working with human rights defenders in all world regions with a focus on creative and practical support and she has the empathy, tact and tenacity to make a considerable impact.”
Lawlor will continue as an advisor to PLD by providing input as a member of their International Advisory Council.