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UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery to visit Togo


GENEVA / LOME (23 May 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola, will visit Togo from 27-31 May 2019.

During her country visit, Bhoola will focus on issues such as forced labour, domestic servitude and child labour in different sectors. The Special Rapporteur also wishes to assess how the Government of Togo is preventing and addressing these harmful phenomena.

“The aim of the visit is to gather first-hand information about contemporary forms of slavery or issues related to it and to assess to what extent the Government of Togo 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.

The Special Rapporteur will meet with senior Government officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Human Rights; Justice; and Social Action, amongst others. Bhoola will visit Lomé and Sokodé and she will also meet with representatives of trade unions, civil society and international organizations.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a media conference on 31 May at the UNIC conference room, 468, Angle rue ATIME, Avenue de la Libération in Lomé, to share her preliminary observations and conclusions. It will start at 13:00, 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 (see  https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/SRSlaveryIndex.aspx for additional information).

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: https://www.ohchr.org/FR/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/TGIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact:
During the visit: Satya Jennings at (+41 79 444 3702 / 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 Information Centre (UNIC) Lomé at unic.lome@unic.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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