Richard Bennett (@SR_Afghanistan) was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. He officially assumed duties on May 1, 2022.
Mr. Bennett has served in Afghanistan on several occasions in different capacities including as the Chief of the Human Rights Service with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). He has previously played a role in the promotion and protection of human rights in Afghanistan and supported the United Nations on a number of human rights issues, such as protection of civilians, transitional justice, child rights, rule of law, rights of people with disabilities, protection of human rights defenders and a range of economic, social and cultural rights.
Mr. Bennett also served with the United Nations as the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and head of the human rights components of peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and South Sudan as well as twice in Afghanistan (2003-07 and 2018-19). He has been a long-term adviser to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Bennett was the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal and head of OHCHR’s office there. He has also been 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.
Mr. Bennett worked for Amnesty International from 2014 – 17 initially as its Asia-Pacific Program Director and later as head of Amnesty’s United Nations Office in New York. From mid-2019, he worked as a consultant on UN human rights assignments in Afghanistan, Myanmar and New York. Mr. Bennett is also on LinkedIn.