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Follow-up mission to Hungary by UN expert on racism

GENEVA / BUDAPEST (19 May 2011) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism Githu Muigai will visit Hungary from 23 to 27 May 2011, to gather first-hand information on issues of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by people living in the country, especially the Hungarian Roma minority.

“Missions like this one allow us to bring our expert knowledge to enhance and enrich cooperation with States for the protection and promotion of human rights,” Mr. Muigai said. “I will be following up on recommendations made by a previous Rapporteur on Racism in 2000*, in order to contribute on ways and means of addressing potential problems, as well as to identify good practices. My visit also follows up to the Government of Hungary’s engagement with the UN Human Rights Council through its Universal Periodic Review process.”

The Special Rapporteur’s mission will take him to Budapest, Ózd, Gyöngyöspata, Pécs and Mohács, where he will meet with representatives from the Hungarian Government, the legislative and judicial branches, and non-governmental organizations, as well as community members, academics and other groups and individuals working in the field of racism and discrimination.

A press conference will be held in Budapest on Friday, 27 May at Hotel Meridien, Erzsébet tér 9-10, 1051 Budapest, at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Muigai will present his findings to the Human Rights Council in 2012.

Githu Muigai (Kenya) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in August 2008. He is a lawyer specialized in international human rights law. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on racism was established in 1993 by the former Commission on Human Rights to examine incidents of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and official measures to overcome them. It was further extended by the Human Rights Council in 2011.

(*) Check the 2000 report on Hungary by the then Special Rapporteur on Racism, Mr. Glèlè-Ahanhanzo: http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/0/c3cfe283fb91cab6802568b0004f1c36/$FILE/G0010626.doc

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/racism/rapporteur/index.htm

OHCHR Country page – Hungary: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/HUIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information during the visit, please contact: Ms. Kellie-Shandra Ognimba (Tel.: +41 79 444 3993 / email: KOgnimba@ohchr.org).