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UN expert on racism and discrimination launches first official visit to South Korea

GENEVA (25 September 2014) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Mutuma Ruteere will visit the Republic of Korea from 29 September to 6 October 2014 to evaluate the situation of racism and discrimination in the country.

This is the first official mission to South Korea by and independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to assess and report on the situation of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance in the world.

“This visit will allow me to learn more about the context of racism and discrimination in the Republic of Korea as well as about all the initiatives and efforts undertaken by the Government to combat this phenomenon,” Mr. Ruteere said.

For the UN independent expert, this mission “represents a unique opportunity to see first-hand the situation in South Korea, to meet the relevant persons and institutions and to provide observations and concrete recommendations in order to fight racism and other forms of discrimination in the country.”

Mr. Ruteere, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Korean authorities, is scheduled to meet with Government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, UN agencies in the country, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, a broad range of civil society actors and private corporations.

The human rights expert will hold a press conference at the end of the visit on Monday, 6 October 2014 at 12:00 h at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, to present his preliminary findings and recommendations.

A final report on the visit will be presented by the Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council in 2015.

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 organisation and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Racism/SRRacism/Pages/IndexSRRacism.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Republic of Korea: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/KRIndex.aspx

For further information and media enquiries, please contact Thierry del Prado (+ 41 79 444 4078 / tdelprado@ohchr.org) or Mariannick Koffi (+41 22 917 9257 / mkoffi@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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