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Ireland: UN expert on rights defenders in first official visit to an EU country

Rights defenders in Ireland

16 November 2012

GENEVA (16 November 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya will visit Ireland from 19 to 23 November 2012 to evaluate the situation of human rights defenders in the country. This is the first official mission to a European Union member State by a UN Human Rights Council expert mandated to assess and report on the situation of rights defenders.

“This visit will allow me to learn more about the initiatives that Ireland has taken, both domestically and abroad, under the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders to contribute to the protection of defenders,” Ms. Sekaggya said.

The UN independent expert pointed out that the coming mission “represents a unique opportunity to provide observations and recommendations on Ireland’s legal framework, institutions and other factors influencing the environment in which defenders work.”

Ms. Sekaggya, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Irish authorities, is scheduled to meet with Government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, the Irish Human Rights Commission, a broad range of civil society actors and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees during her stay in Dublin those days.

The human rights expert will hold a press conference in Dublin at the Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, at the end of the visit on Friday, 23 November 2012 at 11:30, to present her preliminary findings and recommendations.

A final report on the visit will be presented by the Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013.

Margaret Sekaggya was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders by the Human Rights Council in March 2008. Ms. Sekaggya is a lawyer from Uganda with over 30 years of experience with justice and human rights issues, including as Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, as a judge and as a university lecturer. She is independent from any Government and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, log on to:

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Ireland:

For further information and media enquiries, please contact Ms. Dolores Infante-Cañibano (+ 41 79 752 0485 / [email protected]) or write to [email protected].

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])

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