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Trafficking in persons: UN human rights expert launches first official visit to Malaysia

GENEVA (19 February 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro will carry out an official visit to Malaysia from 23 to 28 February 2015 to assess the situation of trafficking of persons in the country, especially that of women, children, as well as men.

“I wish to reach out to trafficked persons themselves, so that their voices are heard and can be considered in the Government’s responses to combatting human trafficking,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms, and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims.

“I look forward to assessing the progress made and challenges Malaysia faces in addressing trafficking in human beings through constructive exchanges with relevant authorities and key actors,” said the Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government.

During her six-day visit, Ms. Giammarinaro will meet with representatives of various Government agencies, as well as members of civil society organizations working to fight against trafficking in persons in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Rembau and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

At the end of her visit on Saturday 28 February 2015, the human rights expert will share with the media her preliminary observations and recommendations at a press conference which will be held at the Vanda 1, ParkRoyal Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur at 11:30 am. Access to the press conference will be limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a final report on her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (Italy) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014. Ms. Giammarinaro has been a Judge since 1991 and currently serves as a Pre-Trial Judge at the Criminal Court of Rome. She was the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE, and served in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security in Brussels, where she was responsible for combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. She drafted the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Malaysia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/MYIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Selma Vadala (svadala@ohchr.org/ during the visit +41 79 444 4078 / before and after the visit: +41 22 917 9108 ) or write to srtrafficking@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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