UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women to visit India
Geneva: For the first time, a UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women will visit India next week to assess the overall situation of violence against women at a time when questions are being raised on the safety and security of women there.
Rashida Manjoo, the Special Rapporteur, charged by the Human Rights Council to monitor violence against women, its causes and consequences worldwide, will meet with government authorities and civil society in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, among other regions, during her ten-day visit, starting from April 22.
"I intend to look into violence against women, its causes and consequences, in its broadest possible sense," she said while stressing that "recent events, including the tragedy of a young woman who was brutally gang-raped, have provided an opportunity for further reflection on laws, policies and practices and the barriers to, and challenges of, effective implementation."
Based on the information obtained during the visit, Manjoo will present a report with her final findings and recommendations to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, a UN release on her visit said here.
The UN expert's visit to India comes at a time when questions are being raised internationally about the safety and security of women there. As recent as last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on a visit to Germany, faced these issue during his discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Manjoo also said, "Violence against women continues to be
one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every country in the world. I believe India is in a unique moment in history to address the issue of violence against women and to further advance women's rights in the country".
"My hope is that my dialogues with government and civil society representatives will contribute in some small way to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against violence in the country," the human rights expert added, ahead of visit.
The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit on May 1.
Asked about the visit by the UN expert, Official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said India has extended a standing invitation to all UN Rapporteurs to visit India and Manjoo was also invited last year as part of that.
The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women must have worked the schedule in tandem with the nodel agencies in India, he said.