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UN expert on minority issues to visit Tajikistan

06 October 2023

GENEVA (6 October 2023) – The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, will visit Tajikistan from 9 to 20 October 2023.

During his visit, the expert will examine legislation, policies and practices affecting people belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, as well as their effective political participation, education, access to justice and the administration of criminal justice, including hate crimes and hate speech targeting minorities.

The Special Rapporteur will meet Government officials and other stakeholders and will travel to Dushanbe and outside of the capital.

De Varennes will hold a press conference at the end of his visit to share his preliminary findings and recommendations on 19 October, Thursday, at the UN Headquarters in Dushanbe, 5/1 Lohuti Street at 14:00 local time. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present his report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2024.

*Pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 6/15 of 28 September 2007 renewed by resolution 19/23 of 23 March 2012, a forum on minority issues has been established to provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, as well as thematic contributions and expertise to the work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues. The Forum shall identify and analyse best practices, challenges, opportunities and initiatives for the further implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

The Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes, is Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria (South Africa), Adjunct Professor at the National University of Ireland-Galway (Ireland), and Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (China) and Visiting Professor, Université catholique de Lyon, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, and National University of Ireland, Galway. He was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. His work and commitment focuses on the human rights of minorities, as well as the prevention of ethnic conflicts, the rights of migrants, the relationship between ethnicity, human rights and democracies, and the use of federalism and other forms of autonomy arrangements to balance competing cultural interests. Fernand de Varennes holds degrees from the Université de Moncton (LLB, 1988), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM, 1992), and the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg (becoming in 1996 the University of Maastricht, Dr Juris, 1996).

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.

For inquiries and media requests, please contact: Leticia Sakai (+4122 917 28 71/ [email protected]).

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Maya Derouaz ([email protected]) and Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]).

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter: @UN_SPExperts

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