News: Rights Commission gets a deputy, three commissioners

The appointees being worn in at the Parliament. Picture: HoPR

Addis Abeba, June 25/2021 – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) gets a Deputy Chief Commissioner, as well as Commissioners for the Rights of Women and Children, Disability Rights, Rights of Older Persons, and Civil and Political Rights during a special session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives on June 25, 2021.

The appointment of the Commissioners, is in line with recently amended EHRC establishment Proclamation No. 1224/2020 which followed a public nomination process through an independent nomination committee which also included the participation of civil society representatives, EHRC said.  

Accordingly, Abdi Jibril Ali (PhD) is appointed Commissioner for Civil and Political Rights. Dr. Abdi was an assistant professor of human rights law at the School of Law of Addis Abeba University for several years before his appointment as head of the School. His academic roles include a position of Associate Dean of the College of Law and Governance at the University and counts a number of publications to his name. 

Meskerem Geset Techane, appointed Commissioner for Women and Children’s Rights, was a long time in service of human rights working at national, continental, and international level. An expert in national human rights institutions, she currently holds a distinguished global mandate with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls which she has served as Vice Chair and Chair for over three years.  A former judge and child defense lawyer, Meskerem has also worked many years with the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Commission’s expert groups, as well as the African Child Rights Committee and the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Court.

EHRC also got Deputy Chief Commissioner, Rakeb Messele Aberra, who, as the Commission’s Senior Strategic Advisor for over the last one year, “has been leading the institution-wide reform and restructuring initiatives.” Working with a variety of national and international agencies and civil society organizations, Rakeb has hands on experience on issues such as child protection, gender, governance, harmful traditional practices, labor migration and trafficking and was involved in the drafting of parallel reports to United Nations human rights monitoring mechanisms. Rakeb Messele has also served as Regional Child Rights Advisor for Save the Children-Sweden for six years in Asia, in West Africa and Central Africa where she was responsible for building the institutional capacity of child rights programs and civil society organizations in more than 16 countries.

The Commissioner for Disability Rights and the Rights of Older Persons appointee, Rigbe Gebrehawaria Hagos, joins EHRC from her current role as Senior Human Resources and Disabilities Advisor at the United States Embassy in Addis Abeba and her own private practice carrying out social consultancy on Disability Inclusion. A person with a physical disability herself, Rigbe  started disability rights advocacy  while working for a Non-Governmental Organization on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, and she has since  become one of the leading advocates, researchers and advisors for disability rights for over the past ten years.  

On the occasion, EHRC Chief Commissioner, Daniel Bekele, said “the appointment of the Commissioners adds great strides to EHRC’s ongoing institutional reform and capacity building efforts to make the institution fit for purpose,  I also speak on behalf of the entire Commission’s team and that of my own when I say that this group of Commissioners who bring a wide range of experience and diversity and are leading experts in their field, is an enrichment of our team and will contribute to improving the quality of the service we provide to the public.” Dispatch

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