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18 July 2008

Geneva, 18 July 2008: The Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to education, Vernor Muñoz, will visit Guatemala at the invitation of the Government from 20 to 28 July 2008.

During this visit, the Special Rapporteur will consider how Guatemala endeavours to implement the right to education, the measures taken for its successful realization and the obstacles encountered both at the national and international levels.

The Special Rapporteur will have the opportunity to visit primary and secondary schools as well as public universities and will focus on issues related not only to access to education but also to the quality of education, in particular for girls, children from indigenous communities and other economically and socially disadvantaged groups.

The Special Rapporteur will meet with Government officials and with civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations. He will also have discussions with education professionals, academics, students, trade unions and will brief the media. He will be traveling to Guatemala City and Quezaltenango.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report on his mission to the Council on Human Rights in 2009.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to education.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and copies of available reports, please consult the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
( http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/education/rapporteur/index.htm)