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Trafficking in persons: UN expert launches first fact-finding mission to Thailand

GENEVA / BANGKOK (5 August 2011) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, will begin an official visit to Thailand from 8 to19 August to examine the impact of anti-trafficking measures in the country.

“During my mission, I wish to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders and trafficked persons themselves, so that their voices are heard and can be considered in the national laws, policies and measures related to trafficking in persons,” the Special Rapporteur said.

“I look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the Government to discuss progress and remaining challenges in the fight against trafficking in persons,” she noted. Ms. Ezeilo is an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to advocate the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms and the adoption of measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims of trafficking in persons.

The Special Rapporteur will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Mae Sot, Samut Sakhon and Songkhla, where she will meet with representatives of the Government and the judiciary, members of international and civil society organizations working on the fight against trafficking in persons and trafficked persons themselves.

At the end of her mission, Ms. Ezeilo will hold a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 11:00 on 19 August 2011.

Joy Ngozi Ezeilo assumed her functions as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children on 1 August 2008. Ms. Ezeilo is a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria. She has also served in various governmental capacities, including as Honourable Commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development in Enugu State and as a Delegate to the National Political Reform Conference. She has consulted for various international organizations and is also involved in several NGOs, particularly working on women’s rights. She has published extensively on a variety of topics, including human rights, women’s rights, and Sharia law. Ms. Ezeilo was conferred with a national honour (Officer of the Order of Nigeria) in 2006 for her work as a human right defender.

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

OHCHR Country Page –Thailand: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/THIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Junko Tadaki (Tel: +66 84722 6156 / jtadaki@ohchr.org) or Mr. Daniel Collinge (Tel: +662 288 1178 / collinge@un.org) or write to srtrafficking@ohchr.org

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