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Follow-up mission to Mauritania by UN Special Rapporteur on racism

GENEVA (29 August 2013) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism, Mutuma Ruteere, will carry out an official follow-up visit to Mauritania from 2 to 8 September 2013, to gather first-hand information on the existing challenges to the elimination of racism and discrimination in the sub-Saharan African country.

“During my mission, I will pay particular attention to the measures taken by the Government to implement recommendations made by the former UN Special Rapporteur on racism in his 2009 report* on Mauritania,” said the independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the world.

“I will further assess the situation of groups known to have been marginalized, such as the former slaves also known as Haratines and the Afro-Mauritanians ethnic groups, with a focus on whether and how their situation evolved, including identifying good practices,” Mr. Ruteere said.

The human rights expert will discuss with the Mauritanian authorities possible ways of ensuring successful implementation of laws, policies and measures undertaken to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The Special Rapporteur’s visit will take him to Nouakchott, Rosso and Kaedi where he will meet with Government’s representatives both at national and local levels, the legislative and judicial branches, non-governmental organizations, as well as community members and individuals active in the struggle against racism in Mauritania.

Mr. Ruteere will hold a press conference to share his preliminary findings in Nouakchott on Sunday, 8 September 2013 at Hotel Tfeila, at 12:30 pm.

The Special Rapporteur findings and recommendations will be reflected in his report to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

Mr. Mutuma Ruteere (Kenya) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in November 2011. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any Government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Racism/SRRacism/Pages/IndexSRRacism.aspx

(*) Check the 2009 report on Mauritania by the Special Rapporteur Doudou Diène: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G09/122/33/PDF/G0912233.pdf?OpenElement

UN Human Rights, Country page – Mauritania: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/MRIndex.aspx

For further information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Nouakchott (during the visit): Cheikh Abdellahi Ould Ahmed Babou (+222 22 45 35 83/ couldahmedbabou@ohchr.org)
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Yaye Ba (+41 22 917 92 10 / yba@ohchr.org) or write to racism@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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