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Mauritania: Follow-up visit by UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery

GENEVA (20 February 2014) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, will undertake a follow-up visit to Mauritania from 24 to 27 February 2014, to assess new developments since her first country visit in 2009 and the initiatives taken by the Government in response to her recommendations*.

“This visit will allow me to discuss the adoption of the road map to end slavery in Mauritania, which was prepared in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Ms. Shahinian said.

“Its adoption and implementation would be a milestone towards the eradication of slavery in the country,” stressed the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences.

The Special Rapporteur’s mandate on contemporary forms of slavery includes issues such as forced and bonded labour, worst forms of child labour, servile marriages and domestic servitude.

During her four-day visit to Nouakchott, Ms. Shahinian will hold discussions with Government representatives, as well as non-governmental organizations and trade unions. The Special Rapporteur is visiting Mauritania at the invitation of the Government.

The visit’s findings and recommendations will be presented at a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

A press conference will be held in Nouakchott at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Thursday, 27 February 2014 with additional information to follow.

(*) Check the 2010 report on Mauritania by the Special Rapporteur Gulnara Shahinian: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

Gulnara Shahinian was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in May 2008. She is a lawyer with extensive experience as an expert consultant for various UN, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/SRSlaveryIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country page – Mauritania: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/MRIndex.aspx

For further information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Nouakchott (during the visit): Mr. Paul Jatho (+222 44272666/ pjatho@ohchr.org)
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67 or +41(0) 79 871 9824 khassine@ohchr.org) or write to srslavery@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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