UN chooses Costa Rican human rights expert as rapporteur on right to education

31 August 2004

A Costa Rican professor and adviser with a long record of advocating for the protection of human rights has been selected by the United Nations to serve as the world body's Special Rapporteur on the right to education.

The UN Commission on Human Rights, based in Geneva, announced yesterday that it has appointed Vernor Muñoz Villalobos to the post - which examines obstacles to the right to education and identifies ways to remove them - initially until 2007.

Mr. Muñoz Villalobos, who currently works in the office of the Costa Rican Ombudsman, is a professor of civil rights at the Latina University of Costa Rica and a human rights adviser. The Commission said he also has a long history of integrating human rights issues into mainstream planning in the field of education.

In his new post, Mr. Muñoz Villalobos will be required to frame recommendations on how to promote and protect the right to education, gather and analyze information about its current state, and review how the right to education relates to other human rights.

Announcing the appointment, Commission Chairman Mike Smith also praised Mr. Muñoz Villalobos' predecessor, Katarina Tomasevski, who served in the position from its inauguration in 1998 until July this year.


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