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Violence against women: UN expert launches first official visit to Afghanistan in a decade

GENEVA (30 October 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, will visit the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 4 to10 November 2014 to assess the situation of violence against women, including its causes and consequences in the country.

“Violence against women continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every country in the world,” Ms. Manjoo said, announcing the first visit to Afghanistan since 2005* by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the situation women and violence around the world.

During her seven-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with government authorities and civil society representatives in Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad. “I intend to look into the problem of violence against women, its causes and consequences holistically, taking into account all relevant issues affecting women and violence,” she stressed.

“Every State in the world has a primary responsibility to take effective action to eliminate violence against women, so it is ultimately up to State authorities to make its eradication a reality,” Ms. Manjoo said.

“I hope that as a result of my interactions with government and civil society representatives, I will contribute to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against violence in the country,” the expert added. “I am very grateful to the Government of Afghanistan for the invitation to conduct an official visit to the country during this crucial period.”

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit on Monday 10 November, time and place to be confirmed.

Ms. Manjoo will present a report with her final findings and recommendations to a forthcoming the UN Human Rights Council.

(*) Read the report on Afghanistan of former Special Rapporteur Yakin Ertürk (July 2005): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/SRWomen/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

Ms. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) was appointed Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences in June 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council. Ms. Manjoo holds a part-time position as a Professor in the Department of Public Law of the University of Cape Town. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/SRWomen/Pages/SRWomenIndex.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 independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council 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.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Afghanistan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/AFIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:

In Afghanistan: Mariannick Koffi (+41 79 1096 873 /+93 777 770 795 / mkoffi@ohchr.org) or write to: Spokesperson-unama@un.org

In Geneva: María Vivar Aguirre (+41 22 917 9179 / mvivaraguirre@ohchr.org) or write to vaw@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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