You are here: Follow-up to Human Rights Day 2012 action

16 January 2013

For Human Rights Day 2012, UNA-UK asked its members and supporters to show their appreciation for the four British citizens working as independent human rights experts within the UN system: Ben Emmerson QC, Professor Malcolm Evans OBE, Sir Nigel Kodley KBE and Professor Patrick Thornberry CMG. Independent experts from around the world draw attention to human rights violations, provide analysis on issues such as freedom of expression, and monitor whether states are fulfilling their international human rights obligations.

We are pleased to report that 230 of you participated in this initiative to thank the independent experts for their vital work in furthering the cause of human rights, both at home and abroad.

Of those 230, 192 answered the follow-up question: did you know about the UN's independent human rights experts prior to taking this action? The results were 67% - No, 33% - Yes. We hope that this initiative contributed to our goal of raising awareness of the important but often overlooked work of these experts.

We have forwarded the results of this action to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the UK missions to the UN in New York and Geneva. We have also informed the four independent experts of the 230 messages of thanks. Sir Nigel Rodley (pictured above) had the following response for those UNA-UK members and supporters who took part:

"I am deeply touched that UNA-UK thought of highlighting for its membership the work of the UN human rights treaty bodies and special procedures. It is really valuable for people to know that this work is going on, even if it does not attract as much media attention as other aspects of the UN's endeavours. And the heartening support of those who kindly signed the message, some two thirds of whom had previously been unaware of the work, couldn't be more appreciated."

To find out more about the work of these independent human rights experts, click here.

To find out more about UNA-UK's work on its human rights policy area, click here.