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UNITED NATIONS EXPERT ON CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF SLAVERY IN FIRST MISSION TO KAZAKHSTAN

UNITED NATIONS EXPERT ON CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF SLAVERY IN FIRST MISSION TO KAZAKHSTAN
20 September 2012

United Nations Special Rapporteur Gulnara Shahinian will visit Kazakhstan from 24 September to 1 October 2012, to assess a number of initiatives developed by the authorities to prevent the worst forms of child labour, forced and bonded labour.  Ms. Shahinian is the first United Nations independent expert monitoring contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, to visit the country.
 
“Slavery like practices such as forced and bonded labour remain a grave and persistent problem today,” said the Special Rapporteur, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government.  “This visit provides me with a unique opportunity to discuss and report on the impact of policies and programmes adopted by Kazakhstan to combat contemporary forms of slavery.”

The independent human rights expert’s mandate on contemporary forms of slavery includes issues such as servile marriages and domestic servitude.

During her eight-day visit, Ms. Shahinian will travel to Astana, Almaty, Shymkent, Maktaral and Enbekshikazahskiy district to hold discussions with government representatives, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, community members and others.

A press conference will be held in Astana at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Monday, 1 October 2012 with additional information to follow.  Ms. Shahinian will present the visit’s findings at the Human Rights Council in September 2013.

Gulnara Shahinian was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in May 2008. She is a lawyer with extensive experience as an expert consultant for various United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery. Learn more, log on to:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/SRSlaveryIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights country page – Kazakhstan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/KZIndex.aspx

In Geneva (before the mission): Elizabeth Wabuge (+ 41 22 917 9138 / ewabuge@ohchr.org) or write to srslavery@ohchr.org.

For media requests during the visit, please contact Ms. Leila Duisekova (+7 7172 59 25 50 / leila.duisekova@undp.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

HR12/232E