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Bangladesh: UN rights expert to assess the situation of violence against women

GENEVA (16 May 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo will visit Bangladesh from 20 to 29 May 2013 to assess the situation of violence against women its causes and consequences in the country. This is first visit to Bangladesh by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on violence against women worldwide.

“I am very grateful to the Government of Bangladesh for the invitation to conduct an official visit to the country in such a tragic and difficult moment,” Ms. Manjoo said, noting the recent catastrophic collapse of a garment factory building and shopping centre in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, killing approximately one thousand people, most of whom were young, female garment workers.

The Special Rapporteur will look into the problem of violence against women, its causes and consequences holistically, taking into account all relevant issues affecting women and violence in Bangladesh.

“Every State in the world has a primary responsibility to take effective action to eliminate violence against women, so it is ultimately up to State authorities to make its eradication a reality,” the expert stressed. “I hope that as a result of my interactions with government and civil society representatives, I will contribute to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against violence in the country.”

During her ten-day visit, Ms. Manjoo will meet with government authorities and civil society at the State, District and community levels in Dhaka, among other regions.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit on Wednesday 29 May.

Based on the information obtained during the mission, Ms. Manjoo will present a report with her final findings and recommendations to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Ms. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) was appointed Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences in June 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Ms. Manjoo also holds a part-time position as a Professor in the Department of Public Law of the University of Cape Town. Learn more, visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/women/rapporteur/index.htm

UN Human Rights Country Page – Bangladesh: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/BDIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Dhaka: Mahtabul Hakim (+88 02 9858593 / mahtabul.hakim@unwomen.org) or Kim Turcotte (+41 79 201 0116 or +41 79 201 0118 / kturcotte@ohchr.org )
In Geneva: Pol Planas (+41 22 917 9657 / pplanas@ohchr.org ) or write to vaw@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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