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UN expert to assess human rights situation of older persons in Mauritius

GENEVA (22 April 2015) – United Nations human rights expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte will carry out her first official visit to Mauritius from 28 April to 8 May 2015 to assess the human rights situation of older persons in the country.

“My visit will be an opportunity to identify both best practices and gaps in the implementation of existing laws related to the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons,” Ms. Kornfeld-Matte said.

The Mauritian society is undergoing radical changes in terms of family structures, which affect the traditional care-providing mechanisms, the housing situation as well as the health care system.

“Ageing issues have been given priority in Mauritius over the last years so I am keen to learn more about the policies and programmes put in place by the Government to enhance the quality of life of older persons,” the Independent Expert said.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Port Louis and will also visit the Island of Rodrigues. She will hold discussions with Government representatives, non-governmental organizations and others working with and on the issue of older persons.

A press conference will be held in Port Louis at the conclusion of the expert’s visit, on Friday, 8 May 2015 at 11 a.m. at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 5th Floor Conference Room, Anglo Mauritius Building, Intendance Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, to share preliminary findings with the media.

The Independent Expert will present her findings and recommendations of her country visit in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte is the first Independent Expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring, reporting and advising on the promotion and protection of the rights by older persons in the world.

ENDS

Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte (Chile) was appointed by Human Rights Council as the first Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons in May 2014. Ms. Kornfeld-Matte served as the National Director of the Chilean National Service of Ageing where she designed and implemented the National Policy of Ageing. She has a long career as an academic and is the founder of the programme for older persons at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/OlderPersons/IE/Pages/IEOlderPersons.aspx

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 – Mauritius:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MUIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67, during the visit +41 79-752 0486, khassine@ohchr.org ) or write to olderpersons@ohchr.org

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