UN human rights expert on racism to visit Switzerland next week

6 January 2006

The independent expert on contemporary racism for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights will visit to Switzerland next week investigate allegations of racial discrimination and xenophobia and the measures put in place to combat them, the Commission said today.

The independent expert on contemporary racism for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights will visit to Switzerland next week investigate allegations of racial discrimination and xenophobia and the measures put in place to combat them, the Commission said today.

These unpaid experts, or Special Rapporteurs, who serve in a personal capacity, receive their mandate from the Commission and report back to it. This will be the first time a special procedures mandate holder will visit Switzerland, the Commission said.

Doudou Diène, the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, will go to three linguistic regions of Switzerland, visiting the cities of Bellinzona, Bern, Basel and Neuchâtel.

He is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Swiss Federal Government, as well as cantonal authorities, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), associations and communities, as well as other civil society institutions.

The expert will submit an interim report during the next session of the Commission on Human Rights in March.

Mr. Diène, a former Director of the Department of Intercultural Dialogue and Pluralism for a Culture of Peace at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a strong promoter of understanding among cultures. He is the second expert to be appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to the anti-racism position since the mandate was established in 1993. He received his appointment in April 2002 and the Commission on Human Rights renewed it last April for another three years.

 

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