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Official visit to South Africa cancelled due to lack of confirmation of dates - UN human rights expert: Rashida Manjoo

18 May 2015 - 11:45

GENEVA (11 May 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, today announced the cancelation of her planned official visit to South Africa for lack of confirmation of dates by the Government for the information-gathering mission.

“It is unfortunate that I will miss the opportunity to engage with all stakeholders dealing with violence against women in the country,” the human rights expert said. Ms. Manjoo has been trying to secure a visit to South Africa since 2012.

The Special Rapporteur was originally scheduled to visit the country at the invitation of the South African Government from 24 February to 6 March 2015 to obtain first-hand understanding of issues related to violence against women. However, the mission was postponed at the request of the government. The authorities proposed that the visit be conducted at the end of March 2015, which the expert could not accommodate due to previous commitments.

“Since end of February, the Government has repeatedly failed to confirm the new dates proposed for the visit to South Africa, i.e. end of May 2015,” she said. “Despite many reminders, I have not received any official confirmation that the visit could be conducted from 27 May to 5 June.”

“I find myself compelled to take the lead in cancelling this visit,” Ms. Manjoo stated. “Due to the imminence of the dates proposed, it would be impossible to resume adequate preparations for the visit at such a short notice, even if I finally receive a confirmation.”

The Special Rapporteur expressed her gratitude to all those involved in supporting the organization of this visit, in particular the representatives of civil society organizations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Country Team in South Africa.

“I hope that the next mandate holder, who will assume office on 1st August 2015, will continue the discussion with the Government of South Africa, with the view to visit the country in the near future,” the expert concluded.

ENDS

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. Ms. Manjoo is a Professor in the Department of Public Law of the University of Cape Town. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/SRWomen/Pages/SRWomenIndex.aspx
 
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – South Africa: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ZAIndex.aspx

For more information, please contact Nathalie Stadelmann (+41 22 917 9104 / nstadelmann@ohchr.org) and Karin Hechenleitner (+41 22 917 9635 / khechenleitner@ohchr.org) or write to vaw@ohchr.org.

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