Mr Lynch will take over the leadership of ISHR once our current Director, Bjorn Pettersson, leaves the organisation in January 2013.
Mr Lynch brings over a decade of experience in human rights work and NGO management, having successfully established and directed two of the foremost human rights organisations in Australia. The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC), from which Mr Lynch joins ISHR, has grown under his leadership to become Australia’s leading human rights law advocacy organisation.
Prior to working with the HRLC, Mr Lynch was the founding manager of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, which won the prestigious Australian Human Rights Law Award in 2005. He also worked as a commercial lawyer with a leading international law firm.
Mr Lynch is currently a member of the Australian Government’s Human Rights Expert Panel. He was awarded the Paul Baker Award for Administrative and Human Rights Law in 2010.
“Phil shares ISHR’s commitment to building the capacity of human rights defenders to engage with the regional and international human rights systems,” says Ms Mehr Khan Williams, Chairperson of the Board of ISHR.
“We are confident that Phil will bring to ISHR great experience and expertise as a national human rights defender, together with a determination to see the international and regional systems function as effective vehicles for domestic change.”
According to Mr Lynch, “ISHR’s strategic combination of monitoring and reporting, research and advocacy, and capacity building and training is unique among NGOs.”
“ISHR has a critical role to play in strengthening the international human rights system and making it more effective in promoting and protecting human rights on the ground. It also has a valuable role to play in NGO coordination and in ensuring the system is accessible and responsive to human rights defenders,” says Mr Lynch.
“I am very excited at the prospect of working with such an engaged, strategic and skilful Board, and a committed, dynamic and passionate staff,” he says.
Ms Khan Williams says, “We at ISHR extend a warm welcome to Phil and look forward to working together in the coming years to realise our commitment to assist human rights defenders.”