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UN expert on trafficking in persons launches first fact-finding mission to Egypt

GENEVA (9 April 2010) – UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, will begin an official visit to Egypt from 11 to 21 April to examine all forms of human trafficking in the country.

“I will assess progress made by the Government of Egypt in the fight against trafficking in persons,” said the Special Rapporteur, announcing her first fact-finding mission to the country. Ms. Ezeilo is an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to examine the human rights of actual or potential victims of trafficking and promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms.

“During my mission, I hope to engage in fruitful dialogue with all relevant authorities in the collective efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking in the country,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Ms. Ezeilo will visit Cairo, Minya, Alexandria and Sharm el-Sheikh, where she will meet with representatives of the Government and the judiciary, as well as representatives of international and civil society organizations working on the fight against trafficking in persons.

The UN Special Rapporteur will also visit day care centers and shelters in Cairo and Alexandria, where victims of trafficking receive rehabilitation assistance.

At the end of her mission, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference in Cairo on Wednesday 21 April 2010. Further details will be provided during the visit.

Ms. Ezeilo assumed her functions as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children on 1 August 2008. Ms. Ezeilo is a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria. She has also served in various governmental capacities, including as Honourable Commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development in Enugu State and as a Delegate to the National Political Reform Conference.

The independent expert has consulted for various international organizations and is also involved in several NGOs, particularly working on women’s rights. She has published extensively on a variety of topics, including human rights, women’s rights, and Sharia law.