Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jane Connors, Australian law professional and long-time human rights advocate, as the first United Nations advocate for the rights of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The appointment is in line with the Secretary-General's pledge – made in his report on Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse: a new approach – that the UN will put the rights and dignity of victims at the forefront of its prevention and response efforts.
Ms. Connors, currently International Advocacy Director, Law and Policy, for Amnesty International in Geneva, brings to the position a long and multi-faceted career in human rights advocacy, as well as human rights and humanitarian assistance in the academic, UN and civil society spheres.
As Victims' Rights Advocate, Ms. Connors will support an integrated, strategic response to victim assistance in coordination with relevant UN system actors.
She will work with government institutions, civil society, and national and legal and human rights organizations to build networks of support and to help ensure that the full effect of local laws, including remedies for victims, are brought to bear.
Before joining Amnesty International, she was Director of the Research and Right to Development Division at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She also worked in OHCHR's Human Rights Treaties Division and as Chief of the Special Procedures Branch.
From 1996 and 2002, she was the Chief of the Women's Rights Section in the Division for the Advancement of Women in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York.