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Mexico: official visit by the UN expert on safe drinking water and sanitation

GENEVA / MEXICO CITY (26 April 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, Léo Heller, will visit Mexico from 2 to 12 May to gather information and testimonies to assess the availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of drinking water and sanitation in the country.

“During my visit, I will focus, in particular, on groups living in vulnerable situations, including the indigenous population, migrants, people in poverty, rural population and people in informal settlements,” said the independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation worldwide.

“I will look at how human rights to water and sanitation are legally recognized in Mexico at the federal, state and local level and how provision of water and sanitation services adheres to human rights standards and principles,” said Mr. Heller. “I will also examine the extent to which people’s rights to safe drinking water and sanitation are being realized.”

The expert, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will meet residents, government representatives, local authorities, civil society and community organizations, in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, the State of Chiapas and the State of Veracruz.

At the end of the eleven-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings at a press conference on Friday 12 May 2017 at 14:00 in at the Mario Molina Room of the UN Information Center, Montes Urales 440, Lomas de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, 11000 Mexico City.  Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Mr. Heller will submit a full report of his findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2017.

Mr. Léo Heller (Brazil) is the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, appointed in November 2014. He is a researcher in the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil and was previously Professor of the Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil from 1990 to 2014.

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: Mexico 

OHCHR Mexico Office 

For additional information please contact:
During the visit: Graham Fox +41 79 444 3702 / gfox@ohchr.org
Before and after the visit: Ahreum Lee +41 22 917 9391 / ahreumlee@ohchr.org 

For media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 12 May 2017 please contact in Mexico City: Gabriela Gorjón (+52 55 5061 6374 / +52 55 5438 1729 / ggorjon@ohchr.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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