Gunnar is Deputy Secretary General.
He is part of the management group and works with issues related to international criminal law and human rights, fact-finding, minority issues and education. He has overall responsibility for following up the work in the NHC’s centres for International Justice and freedom of religion and belief. He coordinates the NGO Forum for Human Rights.
– It has been a great journey with new challenges every day. You meet people with heart-breaking stories. Sometimes there is little you can do, but other times your contribution makes a difference. These are the moments that make it worthwhile to work for human rights.
Gunnar joined the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) in 1997, works on international justice issues, established the NHC’s involvement in Central Asia and started projects in Turkey and Armenia. For a period, he led our Russia program, a program to study accountability in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and coordinates NHC efforts to promote Magnitsky sanctions and other mechanisms to punish those who commit atrocities without being punished for it. He is involved in preparing reports and articles.
– The NHC has developed a lot in all possible ways since I started. I have witnessed the professionalisation of international human rights work. It has been an educational and uplifting experience, although we also experience setbacks.
He started as editorial secretary in the 1980s and later editor of the Nordic Journal of Human Rights. He learned from some of the pioneers of human rights research in Norway.
– I started working with human rights motivated by philosophical ideas but wanted to be part of an organization with operational goals and activities.
Before joining the NHC, Gunnar also worked as a church musician and composer. He has written on human rights issues, foundational issues in international criminal law and philosophical topics, including textbooks, reports, and articles. He has studied philosophy, religion, history, mathematics, journalism, and human rights. He lectures at universities and colleges.
Related to Gunnar
The country scores high on international rankings. Few states rank higher in terms of democracy, respect for human rights, gender equality and economic performance. There exist, however, serious challenges such as inclusion of minorities and migrants and in ensuring the rights of the most vulnerable.
The country is at the intersection of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Few states can compete when it comes to cultural heritage, but Turkey’s history is also abundant with brutal conflicts.
What NGO Forum is working on