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Central African Republic: UN human rights expert to conduct first visit

31 January 2020

GENEVA (31 January 2020) – The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic (CAR), Yao Agbetse, will carry out his first visit to the country from 3 to 12 February 2020.

His visit follows his recent appointment by the Human Rights Council (resolution A / HRC / RES / 42/36 of September 2019) as an independent expert to assess, monitor and report on the situation of human rights in CAR, with a view to making recommendations regarding technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights.

During the visit, the expert will meet with the authorities of the Central African Republic, including the Head of State, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Reconciliation.

He will also meet with leaders of the opposition, leaders of the armed groups, diplomats, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), United Nations agencies based in CAR, civil authorities, civil society organizations and international non-governmental organizations in CAR. He also plans to travel within the country.

The Independent Expert will also assess the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation that was signed in Bangui on 6 February 2019 between the Government and 14 armed groups. He will focus in particular on the issue of transitional justice and the situation of women and children.

After concluding his visit, he will participate in the high-level interactive dialogue organized by the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session in March 2020 to assess the development of the human rights situation on the ground, with a particular focus on preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, and protecting their rights through demobilization and reintegration.

Representatives of the Government of the Central African Republic, the United Nations, the African Union and civil society will participate in this interactive dialogue.

ENDS

Mr. Yao Agbetse (Togo) is a human rights lawyer, researcher and teacher who has devoted the last 25 years of his life to justice and human rights, including the rights of the child. He has implemented human rights programs at the national level and has provided legal and technical advice for the development and monitoring of national human rights laws and policies, particularly in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Togo. He has created a space and tools for dialogue and joint efforts by state actors and CSOs. In the DRC, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, it has implemented DDR programs, trained army and police chiefs, and provided support to mandate-holders and United Nations operations, including participating in the interactive dialogue under item 10 during sessions of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. He provided first-hand and factual information to UN experts to help them assess human rights challenges in different countries and made specific and workable recommendations to ensure accountability and access to Justice.

The mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic was established by the Human Rights Council on 27 September 2013.

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. 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 – Central African Republic

For more information and media requests, please contact: Isatou Harris (+41 22 928 9422 / [email protected]) or write to [email protected]

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: The Media Unit (+ 41 22 928 9855 / [email protected])

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