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VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: UNITED NATIONS EXPERT LAUNCHES VISIT TO ASSESS THE SITUATION IN INDIA
17 April 2013

GENEVA (17 April 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, will visit India from 22 April to 1 May 2013, in what will be the first visit to assess the overall situation of violence against women in the country by an independent expert charged by the Human Rights Council to monitor violence against women, its causes and consequences worldwide.

“Violence against women continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every country in the world,” Ms. Manjoo said. “I believe India is in a unique moment in history to address the issue of violence against women and to further advance women’s rights in the country.”

“I intend to look into violence against women, its causes and consequences, in its broadest possible sense,” she noted, while stressing that “recent events, including the tragedy of a young woman who was brutally gang-raped, have provided an opportunity for further reflection on laws, policies and practices and the barriers to, and challenges of, effective implementation.”

The Special Rapporteur will meet with government authorities and civil society in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, among other regions, during her ten-day visit.

“My hope is that my dialogues with government and civil society representatives will contribute in some small way to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against violence in the country,” the human rights expert added.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit at the UN Office building in New Delhi (Conference Hall, 55 Lodi Estate) on Wednesday 1 May at 16:00.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, Ms. Manjoo will present a report with her final findings and recommendations to a forthcoming session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Ms. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) was appointed Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences in June 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Ms. Manjoo also holds a part-time position as a Professor in the Department of Public Law of the University of Cape Town. Learn more, visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/women/rapporteur/index.htm

UN Human Rights Country Page – India: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/INIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In New Delhi: UN Information Centre (+91 11 4653 2242 / unicindia@unicindia.org) or Pol Planas (+41 79 221 8074 / pplanas@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Gabriela Guzmán (+41 22 79412 / gguzman@ohchr.org) or write to vaw@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

HR13/085E