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Migrants and the Mediterranean, next stop: Italy – UN expert continues study on EU external borders

GENEVA (26 September 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Italy from 30 September to 8 October as part of his yearlong study on the management of the external borders of the European Union, which has already taken him to key EU border countries including Tunisia and Turkey earlier this year.

“Given its strategic position in the Mediterranean, with its long coastline, and proximity to North Africa, Italy has become a key point of entry for many migrants seeking to reach Europe,” Mr. Crépeau said.

During his nine-day mission to Italy, the human rights expert will meet with a range of government officials responsible for border control and migration, international organisations, migrants organisations, and migrants themselves, to discuss the complex management of the Italian border. The UN Human Rights Council’s envoy will also visit a number of migrant detention centers.

Mr. Crépeau’s visit to Italy is the fourth stage in his study on the management of the EU external borders. He visited Brussels in May, and Tunisia and Turkey earlier in in June. Later in the year in November he will also visit Greece.

At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 8 October 2012 at 15h30, at the
Italian Society For International Organization, Piazza di San Marco, 51
00186 Roma.

The study, launched by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, will result in a special thematic report which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013.

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. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Migration/SRMigrants/Pages/SRMigrantsIndex.aspx

Check the Address by the Special Rapporteur to the UN General Assembly (21 October 2011): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11523&LangID=E

Read 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

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Italy: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ITIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Jacqui Zalcberg (+41 79 752 0483 / jzalcberg@ohchr.org) or write to migrant@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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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en