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17 February 2009

The United Nations Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, will undertake an official visit to Maldives from 18 to 26 February 2009 at the invitation of the authorities.

The mission will mainly focus on the impact of climate change on the right to adequate housing; post-disaster reconstruction – particularly after the December 2004 Tsunami; and other issues related to the right to adequate housing.

Ms. Rolnik will hold meetings with state officials, civil society and non-governmental organizations, international agencies and other relevant actors. Apart from the capital Malé, the Special Rapporteur will visit several locations including HulhuMale’, Lhaviyani Naifaru, Lhaviyani Hinnavaru and Raa Dhuvaafaru.

As a result of this visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in which she will try to identify practical solutions and recommendations to help the implementation and realization of rights related to her mandate.

A press conference on the initial findings of the Special Rapporteur will be held on Wednesday, 25 February, 4:00 p.m. at the UN Conference Room, UN Building, Buruzu Magu, Male, Maldives.

Raquel Rolnik was appointed as Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, in May 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. The UN first decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to examine questions relevant to the right to adequate housing in 2000. Her mandate involves reporting annually to the Human Rights Council on the status of the realization of the right to adequate housing throughout the world, and identifying practical solutions and good practices towards this end. An architect and urban planner, Ms. Rolnik has extensive experience in the area of housing and urban policies.

For further information on the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/housing/index.htm

For use of the information media; not an official record