Christian Åhlund

Christian Ahlund is a member of the Swedish Bar. He served as Sweden’s representative on the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) from 2005 to 2020 and led the commission as its Chair from 2014 to 2018. He also held the position of Executive Director at the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) from 2002 to 2015.

Since the mid-1980s, Ahlund has been frequently engaged in international roles related to human rights and international law. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was part of a Swedish government advisory commission that provided guidance on aid to opposition groups in South Africa and Central America, a role that included extensive travel to these areas. In 1990 and 1991, he was a member of an international team organized by the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva to investigate communal violence in South African townships.

In the second half of the 1990s, Ahlund focused on the Balkans, especially Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was stationed in Sarajevo in 1997 as the Director General for Human Rights for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he oversaw the enforcement of human rights provisions of the Dayton Agreement. In 1999, he chaired a joint commission established by the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina and OSCE, developing legislation on defamation and freedom of information, which was later enacted by the Bosnian parliament in March 2001.

Between 1998 and 2003, as the chair of the Human Rights Commission of the Swedish Bar Association, Ahlund focused on enhancing the professional standards of bar associations in Republika Srpska and Macedonia. He led the Human Rights Committee of CCBE (the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union) from 2003 to 2006. He was honored with the International Bar Association’s “Rule of Law Award” in 2004.

Ahlund is also a noted author, contributing articles on human rights and international law to both Swedish and international publications.