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UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery to visit Italy


GENEVA / ROME (28 September 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola, will visit Italy from 3 to 12 October.

During her country visit, Bhoola will focus on labour exploitation of migrants in agriculture and on the strategies, policies and laws which the Government of Italy is implementing to prevent and address exploitation in that sector.

“The aim of the visit is to gather first-hand information about the labour and living conditions of migrant workers in agriculture and to assess to what extent the Government of Italy is taking measures to achieve target 8.7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which requires taking “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking (…)”, the expert said.

Amongst other issues, the Special Rapporteur is also interested in assessing to what extent victims of labour exploitation are granted access to justice.

The Special Rapporteur will meet with senior Government officials from the Ministries  of Foreign Affairs; Interior; Labour and Social Policies; Justice; Agriculture, Food and Forestry and of the Department for Equal Opportunities and National Office Against Racial Discrimination. Ms. Bhoola is also planning to meet migrant workers in the areas of Rosarno (Calabria), Foggia (Apulia) and Latina (Lazio). She will also meet with representatives of civil society and international organizations.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a media conference on 12 October 2018 at the Istituto Luigi Sturzo, Via delle Coppelle, 35, in Rome, to share her preliminary observations and conclusions. It will start at 14:00, and access is strictly limited to the media.


Ms Urmila Bhoola (South Africa)was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, in June 2014. She is independent from any government and serves in her individual capacity. Ms. Bhoola is a former Judge of the Labour Court of South Africa. Her judicial appointment followed twenty years of work as a labour and human rights lawyer in South Africa, and she has received many awards for her human rights and gender equality work. She has also been a technical advisor to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on labour rights in the Asia Pacific region and was Chief Legal Drafter of South Africa's Employment Equity Act, designed to redress disadvantages caused by apartheid. Her most recent report to the Human Rights Council focuses on the impact of slavery and servitude on marginalized migrant women workers in the global domestic economy.

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:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ITIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact:
During the visit: Satya Jennings at (+41-79 752-0485 / sjennings@ohchr.org)
Before and after the visit: Satya Jennings at (+41 22 97 72) or write to srslavery@ohchr.org

For registration for the press conference please contact the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC/ITALY) at italy@unric.org.

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

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