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Human Rights Council appoints 19 Human Rights Experts to report on wide range of themes and country situations

8 May 2014

Geneva, 8 May 2014 -- The Human Rights Council today appointed 19 human rights experts to serve as United Nations Special Procedure mandate holders tasked with reporting on a wide range of human rights themes and country situations. 
 
At an organizational meeting of the Council held today, Council President Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella (Gabon) announced his decision to appoint the following individuals to serve in these posts recently left vacant by previous mandate holders, with the exception of the newly created mandate on older persons authorized at the Council’s September session: 
 
Individual thematic mandates -  Mr. Juan Bohoslavsky (Argentina) as Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt; Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte (Chile) as Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons; Ms. Leilani Farha (Canada) as Special Rapporteur on adequate housing; Ms. Urmila Bhoola (South Africa) as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery; Mr. Philip Alston (Australia) as Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Ms. Hilal Elver (Turkey) as Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Ms. Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines) as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Ms. Maud De Boer-Buquicchio (the Netherlands) as Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and Mr. Michel Forst (France) as Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders.
 
Thematic mandate working group members - Mr. Edtami Mansayagan (Philippines) as member from Asia-Pacific States to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Mr. Wilton Littlechild (Canada) as member from Western European and Other States to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Mr. Sètondji Roland Jean-Baptiste Adjovi (Benin) as member from African States to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mr. José Guevara (Mexico) as  member from Latin American and Caribbean States to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Ms. Houria Es Slami (Morocco) as member from African States to the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances; Ms. Alda Facio (Costa Rica) as member from Latin American and Caribbean States to the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice; and Mr. Saeed Mokbil (Yemen) as member from Asia-Pacific to the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries.
 
Country-specific mandates - Mr. Bahame Nyanduga (Tanzania) as Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia; Ms. Yanhee Lee (Republic of Korea) as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar; and Mr. Makarim Wibisono (Indonesia) as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. 
 
These appointments by the President of the Human Rights Council are based on proposals put forth to him by members of the Council’s Consultative Group and in compliance with the Council’s institution-building package.  The 19 new experts join the ranks of the 51 Special Procedures mandates which periodically report to the Human Rights Council on wide-ranging human rights issues around the globe. 
 
The new mandate holders will assume their responsibilities during the first week of June.
 
At the onset of today’s meeting the Council observed a minute of silence for the memory of Mr. Marc Pallemaerts, the Special Rapporteur on toxic waste, who recently passed away. 
 
The Human Rights Council will hold its next session, the twenty-sixth regular session, from 10 to 27 June 2014.
 
Background
 
The special procedures are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2013 there are 37 thematic and 14 country mandates.
 
With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
 
 
For more information about the Special Procedures, please visit the Special Procedures webpage: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx

For more information about the Human Rights Council, please visit the HRC website - http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCIndex.aspx

Media contacts: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org and Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org
 
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