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UN expert group on the use of mercenaries to visit Ghana

GENEVA (7 December 2017) – A delegation of the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries will conduct an official country visit to Ghana, from 8 to 15 December 2017.

The Working Group delegation comprising of Mr. Anton Katz and Ms. Patricia Arias, will assess the regulation of private security companies in the country and the measures in place to address the challenges posed by mercenarism and mercenary related activities, including foreign fighters and their impact on human rights.

The delegation will hold meetings in Accra and Takoradi with representatives from relevant Government ministries, members of civil society including non-governmental organizations, private security companies and companies operating in the extractive industry.

The experts will hold a press conference to share their preliminary observations on 15 December, at 12:30 p.m. at the GJA International Press Centre, Accra.

The Working Group will present a full report of the country visit to the Human Rights Council in 2018.


The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination was established in July 2005 by the then Commission on Human Rights. Its mandate was further extended by the Human Rights Council in 2008. The Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world. The Chairperson-Rapporteur is Mr. Gabor Rona (United States of America). Other members are Ms. El¿bieta Karska (Poland) Ms. Patricia Arias (Chile), Mr. Anton Katz (South Africa), and Mr. Saeed Mokbil (Yemen).

The Working Groups 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 more information and media requests, please contact:
In Accra:
Ms. Cynthia Prah, UNIC, (+233 (0) 246 281 113)
Ms. Jolene Tautakitaki, OHCHR (+41 79 444 3702/ jtautakitaki@ohchr.org)
Ms. Alina Grigoras (+41 79 221 8074/ agrigoras@ohchr.org)

In Geneva:
Ms. Yiyao Zhang (+41 22 917 9804 / yzhang@ohchr.org)
Alternatively, you can write to mercenaries@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Bryan Wilson – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9826 / mediaconsultant2@ohchr.org

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