ASUNCION / GENEVA (16 November 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur Catalina Devandas Aguilar will visit Paraguay from 19 to 27 November 2015 to assess the situation of persons with disabilities, including indigenous persons, women and children with disabilities, and with a special focus on social exclusion and poverty.
“I look forward to the visit and to observe the level of enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities in Paraguay, including recent achievements and the challenges that remain,” said Ms. Devanadas Aguilar. This will be her first official visit to the country as the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities.
During her mission, the Special Rapporteur will consider issues related to a number of rights, including the right to inclusive education, work and employment, social protection, access to justice, liberty and security of the person, as well as the right to live independently and to be included in the community, and to participate in the political and public life.
Besides visiting various locations in Asunción, the UN Special Rapporteur will also travel to Villarrica. At the end of the visit, the expert will share her preliminary observations with the media at a press conference on 27 November at 10:30 p.m., at the UN House, Mariscal López y Saravi, Asunción. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
Ms. Devandas Aguilar will present her preliminary findings during the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council, in March 2016, and the complete report of her visit in March 2017.
Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar (Costa Rica) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities in June 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council. Ms. Devandas Aguilar has worked extensively on disability issues at the national, regional and international level with the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, the UN unit responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Bank. Her work has focused on the rights of women with disabilities and the rights of indigenous peoples with disabilities. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx
The 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 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.
OHCHR Country page – Paraguay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/PYIndex.aspx
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