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Fiji: UN expert to assess official efforts to implement the right to education

GENEVA (3 December 2015) – Education reforms and the education of vulnerable children are among the issues to be assessed in the Republic of Fiji by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, during his visit to the country from 7 to 15 December 2015.

“This mission will allow us to assess the efforts undertaken by Fiji to implement the right to education, the measures adopted for its successful realization, and the obstacles met both at the national and international level,” said Mr. Singh, announcing the first visit to the country by an independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with promoting the right to education.

During his nine-day visit, the UN expert will also evaluate the recent reform programs adopted by the Fijian Government on education issues, with a view towards evaluating practical lessons relevant to small island states.

Mr. Singh, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will visit primary and secondary schools and public universities to meet with educators, academics, students and teachers’ representatives. He will also hold discussions with Government and civil society representatives, including NGOs.

Based on the information collected during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in 2016.

A press conference will be held on 15 December 2015 at 10 AM at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva (584 Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji). Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Mr. Kishore Singh (India), the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010, is a professor specialized in international law who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national bodies on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to promote better understanding of this right as an internationally recognized right. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.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 – Fiji: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/FJIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Suva (during the visit): Sangji Lee (+679 331 0465, ext.211) / sangji.lee@one.un.org)
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Stee Asbjornsen (+41 22 917 9827 / sasbjornsen@ohchr.org) or write to sreducation@ochcr.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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