GENEVA (22 February 2017) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Gustavo Gallón, will visit the country from 28 February to 11 March 2017 to assess the current human rights situation and follow up on his previous recommendations.
“I will pay especial attention to progress made in the areas of elections, conditions of detention, long pre-trial detention, illiteracy, impunity for past violations of human rights and the situation of victims of natural disasters, which I have reiterated in my reports to the Human Rights Council,” Mr. Gallón said.
The Independent Expert will also review the situation of people affected by hurricane Matthew, four months after it hit Haiti, along with the situation of people deported from the Dominican Republic and problems related to the cholera epidemic.
During his seventh visit to Haiti, the Expert will meet with representatives of the new Government elected on 20 November 2016. “I take note of the final results of Presidential and Legislative elections, and I praise the commitment of the Provisional Government to guarantee a smooth electoral process,” Mr. Gallón noted. “I will share with them my views on the main human rights challenges faced by Haiti.”
The Independent Expert, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will also meet with other Haitian authorities -including the Office of Citizen Protection-, the diplomatic corps, representatives of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and UN agencies, as well as human rights defenders and civil society organizations.
The Independent Expert will hold a press conference on 9 March 2017 in the morning (with further details to follow) in the conference room of MINUSTAH headquarters to present the preliminary findings of his visit. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
Mr. Gallón will present a comprehensive report to the Human Rights Council in March 2017.
The Human Rights Council appointed Mr. Gustavo Gallón as Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti in June 2013. Mr. Gallón has over 30 years of experience as a human rights defender and as university professor in public law and human rights. He was the Special Representative of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to Equatorial Guinea from 1999 to 2002. He is currently the director of the Colombian Commission of Jurists since its inception in 1988.
The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
UN Human Rights, country profile: Haiti
For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Laia Valls Senties (+41 22 917 93 70 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
In Port-au-Prince (during the visit): Sophie Boutaud de la Combe (+509 2229 6700, ext. 2691) / email@example.com)
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Bryan Wilson, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9826 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
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