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UN expert on right to safe drinking water and sanitation launches first mission to Thailand

GENEVA / BANGKOK (29 January 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque will visit Thailand from 1 to 8 February 2013 to assess the country’s developments and remaining challenges toward the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation.

“I will focus on the specific situation of people living in rural areas and informal settlements, as well as of those belonging to disadvantaged groups including minorities and migrant workers. I will also explore some water contamination cases,” said Ms. de Albuquerque, announcing her first official visit to Thailand.

The Special Rapporteur, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Thai authorities, will meet with representatives from the Government, as well as from international organizations, civil society and communities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

At the end of her eight-day visit, Ms. de Albuquerque will share with the media the preliminary findings of her mission at a press conference on 8 February at 11:00 am, at the premises of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Based on the information obtained during the mission, the Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will include her final findings and recommendations to the Government of Thailand.

Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2008. Ms. de Albuquerque is a Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga, Coimbra and of the American University’s Washington College of Law. She is a senior legal advisor at the Prosecutor General’s Office. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/WaterAndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/SRWaterIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Thailand: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/THIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
Madoka Saji (OHCHR Geneva): +41 79 201 0124 / msaji@ohchr.org
Laurent Meillan (OHCHR Bangkok): +66 22 88 1605 / meillan@un.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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