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UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery announces first official visit to Niger

By United Nations - Office of the UN High Commissione
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GENEVA, Switzerland, November 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations Special Rapporteur Urmila Bhoola, will visit Niger from 11 to 21 November 2014 to assess the situation in the country regarding contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices.

“Niger criminalized slavery in 2003 and I look forward to discussing with the Government on the impact of the legislation in practice,” said Ms. Bhoola ahead of the first official visit to Niger of an independent expert monitoring contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences.

“This visit will provide an opportunity for a fruitful exchange on the initiatives undertaken by the Government to combat slavery and slavery-like practices and on the challenges they face, as well as to explore solutions to address these,” the human rights expert noted.

The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on issues such as hereditary and caste-based forms of slavery, forced labour, debt bondage, serfdom, children working in slavery or slavery-like conditions, domestic servitude, sexual slavery and forced marriage around the world.

During this eleven-day mission, Ms. Bhoola will meet representatives of the State and local authorities, as well as civil society organizations, diplomatic community and the UN.

At the end of her visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on Friday, 21 November, at 12:00 noon, in the meeting room of the UN House (428 Avenue du Fleuve, Niamey) to share her preliminary observations.

Following the visit, the expert will present a report containing her conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015.