Brian Burdekin is currently Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden and Professorial Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law. He is international advisor to many National Human Rights Commissions in Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
From 1995 to 2003, as Special Adviser on National Institutions, Regional Arrangements and Preventive Strategies to the first three United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights, he conducted over 200 missions to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America where governments or civil society wanted to create an independent Human Rights Commission. In the past 25 years he has helped to establish such Commissions in over 70 countries and is generally considered to be the leading international expert on the subject.
Prior to taking up his appointment with the United Nations, Brian was, from 1986 to 1994, the first Federal Human Rights Commissioner of Australia. In this capacity he conducted major national inquiries into the systemic abuse of particularly vulnerable groups – including homeless young people, the mentally ill and people with disabilities. In 1990-91 he was one of the key figures involved in drafting the United Nations principles prescribing the essential standards for National Human Rights Commissions, subsequently adopted by the UN General Assembly and endorsed by all Member States of the U.N. in 1993.