Dunja Mijatović was elected Commissioner for Human Rights on 25 January 2018 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and took up her position on 1 April 2018. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner for Human Rights, she has served as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (2010-2017).
She was appointed in 2010 by the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as the Representative on Freedom of the Media. The Council gave her a political mandate to protect and promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the 57 OSCE participating States.
For more than two decades she worked on human rights, media law and regulation, institution building in transition states and ways to deal with hate speech and dangerous speech in complex post-war societies. During this time she acquired extensive experience in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms through international dialogue and cooperation, media law and policy and Internet governance. She has in-depth knowledge of new technologies with the emphasis on digitalisation, convergence and the Internet.
As one of the founders of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998 she helped to create a legal, regulatory and policy framework for the media in a complex post-war society. She was also involved in establishing a self-regulatory Press Council and the first Free Media Helpline in South East Europe. In 2007 she was elected President of the European Platform of Regulatory Agencies, the largest media regulators’ network in the world.
She held this post until her appointment to the OSCE. She has chaired the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on freedom of expression and information in times of crisis, during which its Committee of Ministers adopted a Declaration on the protection and promotion of investigative journalism and Guidelines on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis. Mijatović has also written extensively on “new media” topics. She has worked as a consultant on projects relating to media regulation and new technologies in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
She holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Bologna, the London School of Economics, University of Sarajevo and Sussex University.
Mijatović was awarded the Médaille Charlemagne in 2015. The award honours a European personality who has made a unique contribution within the field of media, to the process of European unification and the development of a European identity. She is also the recipient of the City of Geneva PEC AWARD 2015 for her work on the issue of the safety of journalists and media freedom in Ukraine during the crisis and her “exceptional personal commitment for the promotion of freedom of information in the whole region.”
The International Peace Center in Sarajevo awarded her the “FREEDOM” prize in 2010 for her work and activities on the struggle for freedom, peace and development in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe and the world.
Mijatović is Fluent English and German, has working knowledge of French and Russian with Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian as her mother tongues.