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UN expert on debt and human rights visits Sri Lanka

GENEVA/COLOMBO (29 August 2018) – The UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will conduct an official visit to Sri Lanka from 3 to 11 September 2018, at the invitation of the Government.

“My visit aims at collecting first-hand information and examine questions related to debt and other financial obligations from a human rights standpoint,” said Bohoslavsky. “The purpose of the mission is to identify good practices, challenges and potential gaps to be addressed. 

“An important objective of my visit is to study the effects of public debt and related polices on the full enjoyment of human rights.

“I am particularly interested in understanding how human rights standards are integrated in economic policies and examining ongoing reforms and programmes aimed at inclusive growth. I would like to grasp how these measures translate in potential improvements and challenges for the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights.” 
During his visit, the Independent Expert will pay specific attention to the incorporation of human rights standards in international development financing, microfinance, and efforts deployed to prevent and combat illicit financial flows in the country.

“I look forward to engaging with the authorities of Sri Lanka, civil society, academics, the international community and other relevant stakeholders,” Bohoslavsky said.
The Independent Expert will hold a news conference in Colombo on Tuesday, 11 September at 11:00 am. The news conference is strictly limited to journalists. For media registration to the conference, please contact: Kaushalya Kathireson kaushalya.kathireson@one.un.org .

The Independent Expert will submit a comprehensive report about his visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2019.


Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (Argentina) was appointed as Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 8 May 2014. He has previously worked as a Sovereign Debt Expert for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where he coordinated an Expert Group on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing. He is independent of any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. 

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.

Follow the Independent Expert’s work on twitter at: @IEfinanceHRs

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Colombo (during the visit): Frédérique Bourque (+41 22 917 9946 / fbourque@ohchr.org or write to ieforeigndebt@ohchr.org )

For media registration to the Press Conference, please contact:Kaushalya Kathireson kaushalya.kathireson@one.un.org

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Frédérique Bourque (+41 22 917 9946 / fbourque@ohchr.org write to: ieforeigndebt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year, 2018, 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 Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.

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