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UN expert to visit Peru to assess the situation of human rights defenders


GENEVA (17 January 2020) – UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst will visit Peru from 21 January to 3 February 2020 to make an in-depth assessment on the situation of human rights defenders and to review State efforts, progress and challenges in ensuring their protection and in enabling their important role.

“This is a timely and essential opportunity for me to gather first-hand information and to engage with all actors to find out whether human rights defenders are able to promote and protect human rights in a safe and enabling environment in Peru,” Forst said.

During his 14-day visit, the UN expert will travel to Lima and to the departments of Piura, Madre de Dios, Cuzco and Ucayali. He will meet with State officials as well as human rights defenders and a broad range of civil society representatives from various parts of the country.

Forst will also meet with representatives of the private sector, such as national and transnational companies operating in Peru, to assess their support and engagement with human rights defenders and local communities affected by their operations.

“I look forward to offering my technical cooperation to the Peruvian authorities and my support to human rights defenders and civil society, to identifying and addressing the challenges they face, and to seizing the opportunity to empower their vital and legitimate work”, he added.

Forst will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a news conference on Monday 3 February at Hotel Dazzler Miraflores, Lima. Access to the conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report of his visit to the UN Human Rights Council session in March 2021.


Mr. Michel Forst (France) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in 2014. Mr. Forst has extensive experience of human rights issues and specifically of the situation of human rights defenders. He was the Director General of Amnesty International (France) and Secretary General of the first World Summit on Human Rights Defenders in 1998. He is a former UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Haiti.

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. 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 Page - Peru

For additional information, please contact: Adriana Zarraluqui (+41.79 500 0032 / azarraluqui@ohchr.org) or defenders@ohchr.org

For media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 3 February, please contact, in Peru, Christian Sanchez, National Information Officer (+51 991 439 208 / sanchez17@un.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: The Media Unit (+ 41 22 928 9855 / mediaconsultant2@ohchr.org)

Follow the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts

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