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Trafficking in persons: UN expert in first fact-finding mission to the Philippines

GENEVA (1st November 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Joy Ngozi Ezeilo will carry out her first country visit to the Philippines from 5 to 9 November, to examine the situation of trafficked persons and the impact of anti-trafficking measures in the country.

“I hope to hear and learn views of trafficked persons and other stakeholders to ensure a human rights-based approach to combating trafficking in persons, as part of my mandate to promote the respect for the human rights of trafficked persons,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to advocate the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims.

“I also look forward to discussing with the Government and all relevant authorities the achievements and challenges in their efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking in the country,” Ms. Ezeilo added.

During her five-day mission, the rights expert will visit Manila and Zamboanga, where she will meet with representatives of various Government agencies and the judiciary, as well as members of international and civil society organizations, and victims of trafficking. On the margins of her official visit, the Special Rapporteur will also visit Cebu to meet with civil society organizations.

The Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations will be presented in a report at a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council.

At the end of her visit on Friday 9 November, Ms. Ezeilo will hold a press conference at 12:30, at: Rooms 526-527, St. La Salle Hall, Yuchengco Institute for Advanced Studies (YIAS), Podium 4, Yuchengco Tower II, Level 5, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Ave. cor. Gil Puyat, Makati City

Joy Ngozi Ezeilo started her mandate as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children in August 2008. Ms. Ezeilo is a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria. She has served in various governmental capacities and consulted for various international organizations, and is currently 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. Ms. Ezeilo was conferred with a national honour (Officer of the Order of Nigeria) in 2006 for her work as a human right defender.

Learn more about the mandate and activities of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/TraffickingIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Philippines: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/PHIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Teresa L. Debuque (+632 336 7720 / teresa.debuque@unic.org) or Meena Ramkaun (+41 79 444 4702 / mramkaun@ohchr.org) or write to srtrafficking@ohchr.org.

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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