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Kazakhstan: Follow-up mission by UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery

GENEVA (19 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, will undertake a follow-up mission to Kazakhstan from 25 to 27 March 2014, to assess new developments since her first country visit in 2012 and the initiatives taken by the Government in response to her recommendations*.

“This visit will allow me to discuss the measures adopted as well as their impact towards ending slavery and slavery-like practices such as forced and bonded labour,” said the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in the world.

Ms. Shahinian, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, noted that the upcoming visit “is a continuation of the frank and constructive dialogue started in 2012, in order to discuss and report on the effects of laws and policies adopted by Kazakhstan to combat contemporary forms of slavery.”

The independent human rights expert’s mandate on contemporary forms of slavery includes issues such as servile marriages and domestic servitude.

During her three-day follow-up visit, Ms. Shahinian will hold discussions with key government representatives, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, community members and others.

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

A report on the Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations of her follow-up visit will be presented at a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

(*) Check the 2012 report on Kazakhstan by the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

Ms. 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 – Kazakhstan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/KZIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva: Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67 khassine@ohchr.org) or write to srslavery@ohchr.org
In Astana: Ms. Leila Duisekova (+7 7172 59 25 50 / leila.duisekova@undp.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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