Prisoner, paediatrician, president: how Michelle Bachelet’s background informs her new role as UN human rights chief

26 September 2018

As former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet knows the hard realities of politics that Heads of Government face as they try to push through their agenda.

Her earlier life was very different: she was detained and tortured under the Chilean dictatorship and later worked as head of the medical department for an NGO helping child torture survivors.

And now, Ms. Bachelet is the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, tasked with co-ordinating human rights activities across the UN, and supervising the Human Rights Council.

On Monday, she sat down with Rocio Franco from the UN Social Media team, at the UN’s VIP Social Media Studio, during High-Level week of the General Assembly.

Rocio started by recalling some of the progressive aspects of Ms. Bachelet’s presidency – such as the decriminalization of abortion and legalization of same-sex unions ­­– and how this experience, as well as her extraordinary background, will influence her current role.

Audio Credit:
Conor Lennon
Audio Duration:
10'29"