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Media advisories Special Procedures

UN experts on arbitrary detention to visit Canada

10 May 2024

GENEVA (10 May 2024) – The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will conduct an official visit to Canada, from 13 to 24 May 2024, to assess the situation regarding deprivation of liberty in the country.

The delegation – comprising three members of the group, Matthew Gillett, Ganna Yudkivska, and Priya Gopalan – will visit the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. They will meet Government officials, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders during the visit.

The experts will also gather information from places where people are deprived of their liberty, including prisons, police stations and institutions for juveniles, migrants and people with psychosocial disabilities.

The Working Group will share its preliminary observations at a press conference on 24 May 2024 at 1pm local time, at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5R7. The press conference will be held in hybrid format. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group will present its final report on the visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2025.

For media registration for the Press Conference, please contact Levon Sevunts ([email protected]) or Zeba Tasci ([email protected]).

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. In September 2019, the Human Rights Council confirmed the scope of the Working Group's mandate and extended it for a further three-year period. In October 2022, the mandate was further extended for a period of three years. The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world: Mr. Matthew Gillett (New Zealand; Chair-Rapporteur), Ms. Ganna Yudkivska (Ukraine; Vice-Chair on Communications); Ms. Priya Gopalan (Malaysia; Vice-Chair on Follow-Up), Ms. Miriam Estrada-Castillo (Ecuador), Mr. Mumba Malila (Zambia).

Database of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The Working Group is 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 — Canada

For press inquiries related to the Working Group please contact Ms. Clara Angélica García Orozco ([email protected]); Ms. Loana Benjamin ([email protected]) or write to [email protected].

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]) or John Newland ([email protected]).

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

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