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MONGOLIA: UNITED NATIONS EXPERT TO ASSESS EFFORTS TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN EXTREME POVERTY
29 November 2012

GENEVA (29 November 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda will undertake an official visit to Mongolia from 3 to 7 December 2012 to assess the country’s efforts to protect the rights of people living in extreme poverty, the official measures taken to improve their situation, and the obstacles encountered both at the national and international levels.

“While Mongolia is on the brink of an economic boom, poverty is becoming entrenched not only in rural areas but also in urban centres as the income gap widens,” noted Ms. Sepúlveda. This is the first visit to the country by an independent expert charged by the United Nations Human Rights Council to evaluate human rights and extreme poverty, and report on initiatives to promote and protect the rights of those living in such a situation.

Ms. Sepúlveda will devote specific attention to social protection measures and Government programmes aimed at assisting people living in rural communities, and, in particular, those who have moved from remote areas of the country to the capital in search of employment following the devastating winter storms (dzuds) of 2010.

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will seek to engage constructively with the authorities to identify ways to ensure that the main obstacles impeding access to public services, including health and education services and justice mechanisms for people living in poverty, are addressed.

During her five-day mission, the expert will meet with senior Government officials, including representatives from various ministries, members of Parliament and representatives from the United Nations system. She will also hold meetings with representatives from international agencies, civil society, the National Human Rights Commission and communities living in poverty.

Ms. Sepúlveda will hold a press conference to share the preliminary findings of her report at 11:00 a.m. on Friday 7 December 2012. Further details of the venue to follow.
 
The Special Rapporteur’s observations and recommendations will be reflected in her final report, which will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2013.

Magdalena Sepúlveda (Chile) was appointed the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in May 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. She has extensive experience in economic, social and cultural rights and holds a PhD in international human rights law from Utrecht University. She is independent from any government or organization. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Mongolia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/TPIndex.aspxhttp://www.ohchr.org/en/countries/asiaregion/pages/mnindex.aspx

For further information and media enquiries, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit):  Orlagh McCann (+ 41 22 917 9695 /  srextremepoverty@ohchr.org)
In Ulaanbaatar (during the visit): Erdenebulgan Davaa (+976 11 327 585 / erdenebulgan.davaa@one.un.org) or Orlagh McCann (+41 79 201 0122 / omccann@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR12/335E