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UN human rights expert to assess the situation of trafficking in persons in Cuba

GENEVA (5 April 2017) –United Nations Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro will assess the situation of trafficking in persons especially that of women, children, but also of men in Cuba during an official visit to the country from 10-14 April. Her visit will be the first to the country in ten years by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council. 

“My visit is an opportunity to meet relevant authorities and key people and groups, to determine the progress made and the challenges Cuba faces in addressing trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation, as well as any other forms of trafficking,” Ms. Giammarinaro said. 

“Particular attention will be paid to measures in place and those planned to prevent trafficking, to protect victims and provide them with access to effective remedies,” she noted. 

The Special Rapporteur is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to promote the prevention of trafficking in persons and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims of trafficking, with a special focus on issues relating to gender and children’s rights. 

Ms. Giammarinaro will meet representatives of Government agencies, as well as UN officials and members of civil society organizations fighting against people-trafficking during her visit to Havana, Matanzas and Artemisa.  

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share her preliminary observations with the media at 12:30 pm Friday 14 April 2017 at the Centro de Prensa Internacional (Calle 23 #152, esquina a O, Vedado, Plaza de la Revolución) in Havana, Cuba. Access to the rence is strictly limited to journalists. 

Findings from the country visit and recommendations will be included in an official report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018. 

Ms. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (Italy) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014. She has been a Judge since 1991 and currently serves as a Judge at the Civil Court of Rome. She was the Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE, and served in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security in Brussels, where she was responsible for combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Ms. Giammarinaro drafted the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.  

The Special Rapporteurs 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 that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Cuba  

For more information and media requests, please contact Selma Vadala (+41 79 444 3702 / +41 22 917 9108 / svadala@ohchr.org) or write to srtrafficking@ohchr.org.  

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: 

Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org) 

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