The Commissioner regularly conducts visits to help raise the standards of human rights protection in all Council of Europe member states, in accordance with his mandate. Visits aim at pursuing a direct dialogue with the authorities and looking into one or several specific issues. After the visit, a report may be published, containing conclusions and relevant recommendations to help redress shortcomings.
During his visit in Iceland the commissioner had discussions with Mr. Ögmundur Jónasson, Minister of the Interior, and Mr. Guðbjartur Hannesson, Minister of Welfare. He has also met with the Icelandic Committee to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the State Prosecutor, the president of the Supreme Court and visited the Womens' Shelter in Reykjavík and the Centre for Victims of Sexual Violence.
Minister of Welfare, Guðbjartur Hannesson (left), Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe and Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson.
Mr. Thomas Hammarberg was elected Commissioner for Human Rights on 5 October 2005 by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. He took up his position on 1 April 2006, succeeding the first Commissioner, Mr. Alvaro Gil-Robles.