Walter Kälin

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Walter Kälin
Born 20 May 1951
Zurich, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Alma mater University of Bern, (Dr. iur.); Harvard Law School, (LL.M.)
Occupation Lawyer, Professor, Humanitarian, Politician
Title Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (since September 2004)

Walter Kälin (born 1951 in Zurich) is a preeminent Swiss humanitarian, constitutional lawyer, international human rights lawyer, activist, and advocate. He is also known as a legal scholar and a renowned professor. He has been a leader in changing Swiss laws and international laws for humanitarian purposes and he has been published extensively on issues of human rights law, the law of internally displaced persons, refugee law, and Swiss constitutional law.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Walter Kälin received his Doctor of Law from the University of Bern and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School.[1]

Kälin has been a professor of international and constitutional law at the University of Bern since 1985.[1] He is also a former Dean of the Faculty and Head of the Legal Department.[2]

He has acted as a consultant for numerous agencies and organizations – including the Swiss development agency, SDC, UNHCR, UNHCHR, UNDP, and others – on matters of decentralization, human rights, and refugee law.[1]

In 1991-1992, Kälin served as the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Kuwait under Iraqi Occupation.[3] He was also a member of the Swiss government's Steering Committee for "the preparation of constitutional reform" and he was Chairman for the preparation of the reform of the judiciary (1995–1996).[1]

Since 2011, Kälin has been a member of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations.[3]

Since 2004, Kälin has served as the Representative of the United Nations' Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons.[3]

He served as a Board member of the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva from 2010 to 2013.

Published work[edit]

  • Kälin, Walter; Müller, Lars; Wyttenbach, Judith (2004). The Face of Human Rights. Italy: Lars Müller Publications. ISBN 3-03778-017-7
  • Kälin, Walter; Kunzli, Jorg (July 2009). The Law of International Human Rights Protection. USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-956520-7
  • Kälin, Walter; Epiney, Astrid; Heim, Lukas; Felder, Andreas (January 2003). Zum öffentlichen Recht : Völkerrecht. Switzerland: Stämpfli Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7272-1508-7


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kälin, Walter; Müller, Lars; Wyttenbach, Judith (2004). The Face of Human Rights. Italy: Lars Müller Publications. p. 719. ISBN 3-03778-017-7. 
  2. ^ [1] Oxford University Press
  3. ^ a b c [2] United Nations High Commission for Human Rights

Walter Kälin Professional Biography on the United Nations OHCHR Website

External links[edit]