GENEVA / MAPUTO (18 August 2016) – United Nations Independent Expert Ikponwosa Ero will carry out her first visit to Mozambique from 21 August to 3 September to evaluate the situation of human rights of persons with albinism in the country.
“There has been a recent wave of attacks on persons with albinism in some provinces in Mozambique to which the Government has reacted by arresting and prosecuting alleged perpetrators in the framework of the multi-sectorial plan adopted in 2015 to ensure the protection of lives and physical integrity of persons with albinism,” Ms. Ero noted.
“I will meet with the Committee in charge of this plan, as well as with other actors from Government, civil society and international partners in order to identify current challenges, gaps in the current response, and best practices that could be transferred from elsewhere in the region,” she said.
During her two-week visit, the human rights expert will travel to Maputo, Nampula and Beira. She will meet with representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, local and provincial authorities, the Mozambican Human Rights Commission, civil society organisations, including those of persons with albinism, and members of the diplomatic community.
“I look forward to meeting persons with albinism in Mozambique,” the expert added, “as I give particular importance to their direct experience and also uphold the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’”.
At the end of her visit, on Friday 2 September 2016, Ms. Ero will share with the media her preliminary observations at a press conference which will be held at 9:30 am at the UNDP premises in Maputo, Kenneth Kaunda Av, N. 931. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
The Independent Expert will present a comprehensive report on her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017.
Ms. Ikponwosa Ero (Nigeria) was designated in June 2015 as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism by the Human Rights Council. Inspired by her experiences as a person with albinism, Ms. Ero spent the last seven years working on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. As international advocacy and legal officer of Under The Same Sun, an NGO with a focus on albinism, she participated in multiple activities and panels at the UN in Geneva and New York. She has extensive experience in research, policy development and advocacy in the field of albinism. She is the author of numerous papers and articles on the issue, including with regards to the categorisation of persons with albinism in the international human rights system. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Albinism/Pages/IEAlbinism.aspx
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. 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 – Mozambique: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MZIndex.aspx
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