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Moldova: UN expert announces visit to probe the situation of human rights defenders

Moldova: UN expert announces visit to probe the situation of human rights defenders

GENEVA (22 June 2018) – UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst has announced his first official visit to the Republic of Moldova, from 25 to 29 June, to assess the situation of human rights defenders and to review State efforts, progress and challenges in ensuring their protection and in enabling their important role.

“This visit is a great opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue with State authorities and civil society organisations and identify ways to support a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders,” said Mr. Forst.

During his one week visit, at the invitation of the government of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Forst will meet State officials, members of the judiciary and prosecutors’ office, lawyers, journalists, as well as members of the Ombudsperson’s office, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society organisations. He will visit Chisinau and Tiraspol.

“I look forward to analysing and addressing the challenges faced by civil society organisations, identifying the good practices implemented by the Government and finding ways to support and empower the vital and legitimate work of human rights defenders.”

The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a news conference on Friday, 29 June 2018, at 14:00 local time, at UN House, 131, 31 August 1989 str., in Chisinau. Access to the news conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present his findings to the 2019 March session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.


Mr. Michel Forst (France) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in 2014. Mr. Forst has extensive experience of human rights issues and specifically of the situation of human rights defenders. He was the Director General of Amnesty International (France) and Secretary General of the first World Summit on Human Rights Defenders in 1998. He is a former UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Haiti. 

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:  Moldova
For additional information please contact: Gotzon Onandia +41 79 500 00 32 (before/during the dates of the visit) / gonandia@ohchr.org) 

For media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 29 June please contact, in Chisinau, Laura Bohantova, UN Communications Analyst, +373 68 511 883 / laura.bohantova@one.un.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rightswww.standup4humanrights.org