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USA: UN human rights expert to assess the situation of trafficking in persons

GENEVA / WASHINGTON (2 December 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Maria Grazia Giammarinaro will visit the United States of America from 6 to 16 December to gather first-hand information on trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and any other forms of trafficking in the country, with a special focus on the rights of trafficked persons, including from a gender and child-rights perspective.

“The United States is considered as a country of origin, transit and destination of trafficked individuals, both US citizens and foreign nationals,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, announcing her first official visit to assess the measures taken to combat trafficking in human beings in the country.

“Particular attention will be paid to measures in place and those planned to protect victims of trafficking and provide them with access to effective remedies,” Ms. Giammarinaro added.

The Special Rapporteur will be meeting with victims, officials at Federal, State and local levels, representatives from civil society and businesses. During her nine-day visit, she will travel to Washington DC, New York, California and Texas.

A press conference to share the Special Rapporteur’s preliminary findings will be held on Friday 16 December at 11:30 at the FAO premises in Washington DC (address: 2121 K Street, NW Suite 800-B, Washington, DC 20037). Access to the press conference is strictly limited to accredited media. Please RSVP with your name, contact details and affiliation by emailing events@unic.org with the subject line: UNSR Trafficking press conference, Dec. 16th.

Ms. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (Italy) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014. She has been a Judge since 1991 and currently serves as a Judge at the Civil Court of Rome. She was the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE, and served in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security in Brussels, where she was responsible for combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Ms. Giammarinaro drafted the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/TraffickingIndex.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 Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms 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 – United States:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/USIndex.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Washington, during the visit: Deborah DeYoung (deyoung@un.org, office: 202 454 2107 / cell: 202 276 8670)
During and after the visit: Selma Vadala (+4179 444 4537 / svadala@ohchr.org) or Thibaut Guillet (+41 79 201 0123 / tguillet@ohchr.org).

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

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