Cabinet has approved the nomination of Dr. Christopher Arif Bulkan to represent Guyana on the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHC) with the next election for Membership scheduled for June 2018. The UNHC is the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.
Dr. Bulkan is an Attorney-at-Law and Senior Law Lecturer at the University of the West Indies with specializations in Public Law, Constitutional Law, Caribbean Human Rights Law, and International Human Rights Law. He also co-founded the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP) at the Cave Hill campus, which is a group of law professors who engage in both litigation and advocacy aimed at promoting human rights.
Dr. Bulkan has been involved in human rights advocacy for many years and has worked to establish and defend the rights of vulnerable and marginalized communities including indigenous peoples, LGBT persons and persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has also been involved in public advocacy against the death penalty, both regionally and at events sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Membership in the UNHRC is expected to reaffirm Guyana’s commitment to the ideals of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and raise Guyana’s profile in the international Human Rights arena.
The Human Rights Committee is composed of 18 independent experts with the capability in the field of human rights. The Members are usually elected for a four-year term by States parties.
Currently, membership includes representatives from Paraguay, Tunisia, Latvia, USA, Egypt, France, South Africa, Japan, Montenegro, Mauritania, Canada, Uganda, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Israel, and Suriname. Suriname’s membership will expire at the end of 2018, and a representative is expected to be chosen from the Latin American/Caribbean region.