GENEVA (9 September 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, will visit Brazil from 14 to 24 September 2015, to identify and assess the main issues facing ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the country.
“As a diverse country hosting a large variety of minority groups Brazil faces a number of challenges that require attention. However this is the very same diversity which makes Brazilian society so dynamic and vibrant,” Ms. Izsák stated.
Ms. Izsák, who visits Brazil at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Brasilia and to other localities including Rio de Janeiro, and to the States of São Paulo and Bahia.
She will meet with Government and UN officials, a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations and other non-State actors, including those working in the field of minority issues, social inclusion, and on the promotion of equality and non-discrimination. She will also visit minority communities, including Quilombos, to hear directly from them about their issues and concerns.
“This is a timely and essential opportunity for me to engage with all actors and consider existing challenges, but also to identify positive initiatives taken by the Government, the civil society and community leaders, to foster unity, non-discrimination, peace and understanding among groups,” Ms Izsák said.
“Brazil has also been leading the way on ethnic data collection and affirmative action policies, so I am also eager to learn about these good practices that could be replicated in other countries.” Ms Izsák added.
Ms. Izsák will issue a statement to the media and hold a press conference in Brasilia at the conclusion of her visit on Thursday 24 September 2015, which will be held at the UN House in Brasilia at 14:00.
Following her visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the Government and to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.
Ms. Rita Izsák (Hungary) was appointed as Independent Expert on minority issues by the Human Rights Council in June 2011 and subsequently her mandate was renewed as Special Rapporteur on minority issues in March 2014. She is tasked by the UN Human Rights Council, to promote the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, among other things. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Minorities/SRMinorities/Pages/SRminorityissuesIndex.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.
Check the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Minorities.aspx
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