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UN expert on first Netherlands visit will gauge human rights in cooperation and development

Solidarity expert on Netherlands visit

05 November 2018

THE HAGUE/GENEVA (5 November 2018) – The UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, Obiora C. Okafor, will make his first official visit to the Netherlands and Bonaire from 5 to 13 November 2018.

“I am particularly interested in the engagement and practices put in place with regard to human rights-based international solidarity and cooperation and to assess how these actions are utilised by the State to address global challenges, such as climate change, cross-border migration, and peace and security, while promoting human rights worldwide,” Okafor said.

The Independent Expert said the Netherlands was a leader in development assistance and he was keen to see how its rights-based approach could promote human rights in partner countries and worldwide.

“I am also interested in learning more about their inter-departmental and holistic National Action Plan on Human Rights as well as how the different parts of the kingdom work together in the new constitutional order,” Okafor said.

During his eight-day visit, the Independent Expert will meet national and local government officials in The Hague and Bonaire, representatives of Amsterdam, as well as members of Parliament and national human rights groups. Okafor will also meet with civil society organisations.

The Independent Expert will present a report on his visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2019.


Mr. Obiora C. Okafor was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2017. He assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. He is the York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies (Senior Tier) and a tenured Full Professor of Law at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada. He is also a former Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Read the Independent Expert’s reports to the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council.

The Independent Experts 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 – Netherlands

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:

In Geneva, Ms. Monica Iyer: +41 22 917 9668  / [email protected]

In the Netherlands, Mr. Thierry del Prado: +31 6 87 41 27 22  / [email protected]

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])

This year, 2018, is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human