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14 April 2009

The Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to education, Vernor Muñoz, will visit Paraguay at the invitation of the Government from 14 to 22 April 2009.

During this visit, the Special Rapporteur will consider how Paraguay 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 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 and boys 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 and trade unions. He will be traveling to Asuncion and Ciudad del Este and will visit communities in the Chaco region (Departmento de Presidente Hayes and Departamento Central ).

The Special Rapporteur will present a report on his mission to the Council on Human Rights in 2010. A press conference on his preliminary conclusions will be held on 22 April at 15h00 at the UNDP Office in Asuncion.

Mr. Muñoz (Costa Rica) was appointed Special Rapporteur in August 2004 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. The Commission first decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to examine questions relevant to the right to education in 1998. The mandate was renewed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2008 for an additional three-year period.

Mr. Munoz Villalobos is currently Director of the Department of Education's Human Rights Ombudsman of Costa Rica and Researcher of the Institute of Latin-American Studies at the National University of Costa Rica. He has been Professor of Human Rights, Philosophy of Law and Civil Law in public and private universities in his country, as well as visiting professor at various universities in the world.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, please visit the websites:
( http://www.ohchr.org/) and (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/education/rapporteur/index.htm)


For use of information media; not an official record