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UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery in first visit to Mauritania

23 October 2009
GENEVA -- The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Ms. Gulnara Shahinian, will visit Mauritania from 24 October to 4 November 2009, at the invitation of the Government.
“Mauritania only recently criminalized slavery in 2007. This visit provides me with a unique opportunity to investigate and report on the impact of this newly adopted legislation,” said Ms. Shahinian, who is the first United Nations independent expert monitoring contemporary forms of slavery to visit the country.
The Special Rapporteur will travel to Nouakchott, Atar and Rosso to hold discussions with government representatives, members of the judicial branch, representatives of non-governmental organizations, community members, academics, and others working in the field of slavery.
A press conference will be held in Nouakchott at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Tuesday, 3 November 2009 with additional information to follow. Ms. Shahinian will present the visit’s findings at the Human Rights Council in 2010.
Ms. 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 about the mandate and work of the Independent Expert:
OHCHR Country page Mauritania
For additional information regarding the visit, please email: srslavery@ohchr.org.NAME
For media requests during the visit, please contact:
Moussa Sidi Ba on 00222 726 29 99 or at: