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UN expert on violence against women to visit Bulgaria

English version | Bulgarian version

GENEVA (11 October 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Šimonović, will visit Bulgaria from 14 to 21 October 2019.

“I will look into issues of violence against women and girls as well as its causes and consequences, including access to shelters, justice and reproductive health services,” Šimonović said.

“I will also consider the challenges faced by women who encounter multiple forms of discrimination and violence, including women from minorities, women with disabilities and migrant and refugee women.”

The Special Rapporteur will meet Government officials, representatives of civil society, UN agencies and the Ombudsperson. She will visit Sofia, Sliven, Haskovo, Dimitrovgrad and Varna.

“I will assess laws, policies, and the provision of services and good practices with a view to recommending measures to the State aimed at eradicating gender-based violence against women and strengthening the implementation of its international obligations on violence against women and women’s human rights,” she said.

“I look forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the authorities and to contributing to the reinforcement and protection of women’s rights in Bulgaria.”

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share the preliminary findings of her visit at 14:00 local time on Monday 21 October at the Bulgaria Telegraph Agency in Sofia. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

Šimonović will present her final report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.

ENDS

Ms Dubravka Šimonović (Croatia) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015, to recommend measures, ways and means, at the national, regional and international levels, to eliminate violence against women and its causes, and to remedy its consequences. Ms Šimonović has been member of the CEDAW Committee from 2002 to 2014. She headed the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and was the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Croatia to the UN in New York. She was also Ambassador to the OSCE and UN in Vienna. She co-chaired the Ad hoc Committee (CAHVIO) of the Council of Europe that elaborated the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). She has a PhD in Family Law and published books and articles on human rights and women’s rights.

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 Bulgaria

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms Roberta Serrentino in Geneva before and after the visit ( +41 22 917 9915 / mserrentino@ohchr.org) and in Sofia during the visit ( +41 76 641 7946 / mserrentino@ohchr.org).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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