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Rights of migrants: UN expert in first fact-finding mission to Albania

Albanian version

GENEVA (02 December 2011) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Albania from 5 to 13 December 2011 to assess the implementation of policies, strategies and laws to protect migrants’ rights, including Albanian migrants living abroad, returnees and other migrants.

“Quite uniquely, one quarter to a third of all Albanian citizens are abroad,” Mr. Crépeau said, referring to the significant migration flows since the early 90s which have made Albania a country with one of the highest emigration rates in the world. “Out of a total population of 3.4 million, about one million Albanians live and work outside their country.”

This is the first mission to Albania by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation of migrants, taking into account the particular vulnerability of women, children and those undocumented or in an irregular condition.

“As one of only two countries in Europe (Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina) which has ratified the International Convention* for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families,” Mr. Crépeau said, “I look forward to talk with all parties about the opportunities and challenges of migration for the country’s national development and European integration.”

During his nine-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials, representatives of civil society, UN agencies, international and regional organizations in Tirana. He will also travel to border points with Greece and Montenegro, visit reception facilities for migrants and hear the migrants’ views.

At the end of his mission on Tuesday 13 December, the Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference held at the Rogner Hotel in Tirana at 11:00.

François Crépeau (Canada) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, for an initial period of three years. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Crépeau is also Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, in Montréal, where he holds the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and is scientific director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

(*) Check the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cmw.htm

Learn more about the Special Rapporteur’s mandate and activities, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/migration/rapporteur/index.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Tirana: Katarina Månsson (+41 794444078 / kmansson@ohchr.org) and Ms. Nora Kushti, Office of the UNRC in Albania (+355 (4) 2276611 / +355 692090253 / nora.kushti@undp.org)

In Geneva: Federica Donati (+41 22 917 9496 / fdonati@ohchr.org) or write to migrant@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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