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UN expert on the rights of persons with disabilities launches first official visit to the Republic of Moldova

GENEVA (7 September 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, will visit the Republic of Moldova from 10 to 17 September 2015 to gather first-hand information about the situation of persons with disabilities in the country and assess initiatives related to the realization of their rights.

“The Republic of Moldova has taken interesting steps towards enhancing the situation of persons with disabilities, in particular in key areas such as education, de-institutionalization and legal capacity which are crucial for promoting their democratic and active participation in the community,” Ms. Devandas-Aguilar said launching the first ever country visit of the new mandate under the Human Rights Council.

“I am interested in obtaining in-depth understanding of the advances made, as I am keen on identifying and sharing good practices related to the protection, promotion and fulfillment of the rights of persons with disabilities,” she noted. “But I would also like to know of the challenges encountered and discuss ways of overcoming them, together with the relevant national actors.”

During her eight-day visit, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar will meet with a broad range of stakeholders, including government representatives and organizations of persons with disabilities.

She will also study national legislation, policies, programmes and practices, and regulatory frameworks and institutions, in order to offer support and collaboration to the Moldovan Government in its activities to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, in line with the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the broader human rights context.

The Special Rapporteur will present her preliminary findings of the visit at a press conference on 17 September 2015 at 10:00 hours, at the conference room in the UN House, ground floor, 131, 31 August 1989 Street. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

She will then present a full report on the mission to the Human Rights Council in March 2016.

ENDS

Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar (Costa Rica) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council. Ms. Devandas-Aguilar has worked extensively on disability issues at the national, regional and international level with the Strategic Partnerships with the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, the UN unit responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Bank. Her work has focused on the rights of women with disabilities and the rights of indigenous peoples with disabilities. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx

Check the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/ConventionRightsPersonsWithDisabilities.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.

For further information and media requests, please contact Ms. Krista Orama (+41 22 928 9286 / korama@ohchr.org) or write to sr.disability@ohchr.org. In Chisinau, Ms. Xenia Siminciuc (+373 684 88 663 / moldovaconsultantsiminciuc@ohchr.org) will respond to media inquiries.

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