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UN Expert on contemporary forms of slavery in first mission to Madagascar

GENEVA (6 December 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Gulnara Shahinian will visit Madagascar from 10 to 20 December 2012, to assess a number of initiatives developed by the authorities to prevent the worst forms of child labour in mines and quarries, servile marriages and domestic servitude.

“During my ten-day mission, I will gather information, discuss and report on the impact of policies and programmes adopted by Madagascar to combat contemporary forms of slavery,” said Ms. Shahinian, who is the first UN independent expert monitoring contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, to visit the country.

The UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur’s mandate on contemporary forms of slavery also includes issues such as forced and bonded labour.

Ms. Shahinian, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Ambositra, Ihosy, Sakaraha and Mampikony to hold discussions with government representatives, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, community members and others.

A press conference will be held in Antananarivo at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Thursday, 19 December 2012 with additional information to follow.

Ms. Shahinian will present a comprehensive report on the visit’s findings at the Human Rights Council in September 2013.

Gulnara Shahinian was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in May 2008. She is a lawyer with extensive experience as an expert consultant for various UN, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery. Learn more, log on to:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/SRSlaveryIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Madagascar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MGIndex.aspx

For more information and media request, please contact:
In Geneva (before the mission): Ms. Elizabeth Wabuge (+ 41 22 917 9138 / ewabuge@ohchr.org) or write to srslavery@ohchr.org.
In Antananarivo (during the visit): Ms. Solange Nyamulisa (+261 34 48 816 31/ solange.nyamulisa@undp.org) or Ms. Nanou Fiankinana (+261 34 48 809 60 / nanou.fiankinana@undp.org) or Ms. Zoé Rasoaniaina (+261 34 48 008 56/ zoe.rasoaniaina@unic.org)

My voice, my right, my voice counts – Watch the Human Rights Day’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCnLOpUW7tY&feature=share&list=UU3L8u5qG07djPUwWo6VQVLA

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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