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Human rights and finance: UN expert launches fact-finding visit to Tunisia

French

GENEVA (15 February 2017) – The United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will undertake an official visit to Tunisia from 20 to 28 February, to assess the effect of adjustment policies on the enjoyment of economic and social rights. He will also study the human rights impact of illicit financial flows.

“The revolution of 2011 has resulted in significant improvements of civil and political rights,” Mr. Bohoslavsky said. “Liberties gained should be consolidated by similar progress in the field of economic, social and cultural rights.”

“I am visiting Tunisia to understand in which areas economic reform has resulted in improvements for economic and social rights and to identify potential gaps. Nobody should be left behind,” he emphasised.

The Independent Expert will discuss during his visit how economic reform policies supported by international financial institutions could contribute to a further consolidation of human rights in the country.

“Responsible lending and borrowing, transparency and public participation are crucial for ensuring that public resources are directed towards realizing human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. Public debt should not create economic, social or political vulnerabilities at the national level, but contribute to inclusive social growth and development,” the expert said.

“An essential demand of the democratic movement is the return of stolen assets and addressing corruption and misappropriation of public funds,” he noted. “It is important that the international community continues to support Tunisia and sends a clear message that progress in the fields of human rights, transitional justice and curbing illicit financial flows pays out.”

Mr. Bohoslavsky, who visits the country at the invitation of the Tunisian Government, will meet with senior State officials, including representatives of various Ministries, members of Parliament, and other public institutions. He will also hold meetings with representatives of international financial institutions and international organizations, national human rights body, civil society and academics.

The Independent Expert will hold a press conference to share the preliminary findings of his visit on Tuesday 28 February at 10:00 am, at the Novotel Hotel, Avenue Mohamed V. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

His final findings and key recommendations will later be presented in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2018.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (Argentina) was appointed as Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 8 May 2014.  Before, he worked as a Sovereign Debt Expert for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where he coordinated an Expert Group on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing. His mandate covers all countries and has most recently been renewed by Human Rights Council resolution 25/16. He is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.
 
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: Tunisia

For more information and media requests please contact:
During the visit:  Ms. Dorra Loudhaief Midani (+ 216 98 745 092 / dloudhaiefmidani@ohchr.org ) or  Gunnar Theissen (+41 79 752 0481/ gtheissen@ohchr.org)

Before and after the visit: Gunnar Theissen (+41 22 917 9321 / +41 79 752 0481 gtheissen@ohchr.org) or write to ieforeigndebt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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