In his 2017 report on “Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse: a new approach”, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) pledged to put the rights and dignity of victims at the forefront of the UN’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse, and proposed a new strategy rooted in transparency, accountability and justice.
In line with this pledge, Ms Jane Connors was appointed as the UN’s first Victims’ Rights Advocate (VRA). As VRA, she is tasked with the job of supporting the proposed integrated, strategic response to victim assistance in coordination with UN actors responsible for assisting victims. Her office is mandated to 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.
Ms Connors will talk more about her role as the VRA, her mandate and her plans for the future.
Jane Connors has been the Victims' Rights Advocate for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel since 14 September 2017. Prior to this she was International Advocacy Director Law and Policy, at Amnesty International, and from 1996 to 2015, held progressively senior posts in the United Nations, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Before joining the United Nations, she was a law teacher at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, the Universities of Lancaster and Nottingham, in the United Kingdom, and the University of Canberra and the Australian National University in Australia.
She has written on United Nations human rights mechanisms, including human rights treaty bodies and the Human Rights Council’s special procedures, the human rights of women, and violence against women and children. Ms. Connors holds Master of Laws, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Australian National University. In July 2019, she was awarded a doctorate in laws honoris causa by the Australian National University.
- Jane Connors (2020): A victims’ rights approach to the prevention of, and response to, sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel
- Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse: Report of the Secretary-General (February 2020)
- Inter Agency Standing Committee, Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) during COVID-19 Response (March 2020)
- Secretary-General’s Bulletin: Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (2003)
- Annual Report of the UN Victims Rights' Advocate (2019)