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UN expert on right to safe drinking water and sanitation in first mission to Uruguay

GENEVA (9 February 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque will visit Uruguay from 13 to 17 February 2012, in what will be the first official mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the realisation of the human right to water and sanitation.

"I will focus particularly on the measures taken by the Uruguayan Government to improve the situation of people with no access to water and sanitation, especially in rural settings, urban and informal settlements, as well as those under official custody, such as children in juvenile detention centres,” Ms. de Albuquerque said.

During her five-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will examine the authorities’ efforts in fulfilling the human right to water and sanitation of all Uruguayans and the persisting challenges they face, as well as suggesting recommendations to carry out these human rights obligations.

Ms. de Albuquerque will meet with representatives from the Uruguayan Government, international organizations and civil society. She will also visit communities in rural and urban areas and irregular settlements, in order to gather first-hand information regarding their situation.

On 17 February 2012, the Special Rapporteur will present her preliminary findings on this mission at a press conference in Montevideo. The press conference will be held at J. Barrios Amorin, 870, planta baja.

Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2008. Ms. de Albuquerque is a Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/WaterAndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/SRWaterIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Uruguay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/UYIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Geneva: Barbara Mateo (+41 22 917 9281) or write to srwatsan@ohchr.org
In Montevideo: Mathias Escoto (+598 2) 412 33 56/59 mathias.escoto@undp.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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