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Violence against women: UN human rights expert in first official visit to the Sudan in a decade

GENEVA (11 May 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo will visit the Sudan from 13 to 24 May 2015 to examine the overall situation of violence against women and girls in the country, and gather first-hand information from victims of violence.

“I will meet with those involved in fighting violence against women in the country, to assess the situation in conflict and non-conflict areas, including violence against refugee and internally displaced women,” Ms. Manjoo said announcing the first visit to the Sudan since 2005* by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the situation of women and violence around the world.

“Violence against women is a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and it continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every country in the world,” Ms. Manjoo stressed. “The internal conflict that has been affecting some regions cannot justify this violence.”

During her thirteen-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with Government authorities, civil society representatives and other parties in Khartoum, Darfur, including El Fasher, Thabit, El Geneina and Nyala, as well as in the North/South Kordofan.

“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,” the independent expert noted.

The Special Rapporteur will also visit shelters, detention centers and camps for internally displaced persons, and she will meet with individual victims of gender-based violence. “I hope I can contribute to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against violence in the country,” she said.

“I am very grateful to the Government of the Sudan for the invitation to conduct an official visit to the country during this crucial period,” Ms. Manjoo added.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit on Sunday 24 May at 14:30. Time and place to be confirmed.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, Ms. Manjoo’s successor –who will assume office on 1st August 2015– will present a report with final findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in 2016.

(*) Read the report on Sudan 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  is 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 – Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SDIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact:
Karin Hechenleitner Schacht (+41 791 096 875 / khechenleitner@ohchr.org)
Ayman Suliman (+249 912 179 766 / suliman37@un.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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