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UN expert on trafficking in persons launches first fact-finding mission to the United Arab Emirates

Arabic version

GENEVA (5 April 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, will undertake her first official country visit to the United Arab Emirates from 11 to 17 April, to examine the situation of trafficked individuals and 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 development of national laws, policies and measures related to trafficking in persons,” Ms. Ezeilo said. She will also assess the progress made and the remaining challenges in the fight against trafficking in persons in the United Arab Emirates.

Ms. Ezeilo is the 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. “I look forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the Government and all relevant authorities in a collective effort to combat all forms of human trafficking in the country,” she added.

During her seven-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, where she will meet with representatives of various Government agencies and the judiciary, as well as members of international and civil society organizations, and victims of trafficking.

At the end of her visit on Tuesday 17 April, Ms. Ezeilo will hold a press conference at the UNDP Conference Room, Al Nayhan Camp, Abu Dhabi at 14:30.

Joy Ngozi Ezeilo started her mandate as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children in August 2008. Ms. Ezeilo is a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria. She has served in various governmental capacities and consulted for various international organizations, and is currently 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 – United Arab Emirates: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/AEIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Jan Mola (+ 971 2 446 76 00 / jan.mola@undp.org) or write to srtrafficking@ohchr.org

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

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