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UN expert on trafficking in persons launches first fact-finding mission to Australia

14 November 2011

GENEVA / CANBERRA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, will conduct an official visit to Australia from 17 to 30 November, to examine the situation of trafficked individuals and anti-trafficking measures in the country.

Ms. Ezeilo will assess the policy and legislative framework to curb trafficking. “I look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the Government to discuss progress made and challenges that remain in the fight against trafficking in persons,” she said. 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 to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims.

During her mission, the Special Rapporteur will visit Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, and meet with civil society, victims of trafficking, representatives of various Government agencies and the judiciary.

“I wish to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders, so that all perspectives are heard and can be considered in the development of national laws, policies and measures related to trafficking in persons,” the Special Rapporteur said.

At the end of her mission, Ms. Ezeilo will hold a press conference at the United Nations Information Center in Canberra at 12:00 on 30 November 2011.

ENDS

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 – Australia:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/AUIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Julia Dean (Tel: +61-2-6270-9205 / julia.dean@unic.org) or write to srtrafficking@ohchr.org

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