UN Expert on contemporary forms of slavery in first visit to Romania

GENEVA (10 December 2010) – The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Gulnara Shahinian, will visit Romania from 13 to 17 December 2010, at the invitation of the Government.

“The Government of Romania demonstrates increased efforts to fight worst forms of child labour and forced labour. This visit provides me with a unique opportunity to examine and report on best practices as well as identify the remaining challenges and explore solutions to address them” said Ms. Shahinian, who is the first United Nations independent expert monitoring contemporary forms of slavery to visit the country.

The Special Rapporteur will travel to Bucharest to hold discussions with government representatives, members of the judicial branch, representatives of non-governmental organizations, community members, academics, and others working in the field of forced labour and worst forms of child labor.

A press conference will be held in Bucharest at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Friday, 17 December 2010 with additional information to follow. Ms. Shahinian will present the visit’s findings at the Human Rights Council in 2011.

Ms. 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 UN, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Independent Expert: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/slavery/rapporteur/index.htm

OHCHR Country page – Romania: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ROIndex.aspx

For additional information regarding the visit, please email: srslavery@ohchr.org.

For media requests during the visit, please contact: Cristina Balan: office +4021 201 7877 / cell +40723 20 7873 or at: cristina.balan@unic.org