Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, addresses the UN Security Council
Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
First the first time in nearly 10 years, a United Nations independent expert visited Cuba on an official country visit when the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, toured the country from April 10 to 14, 2017. The purpose of the Special Rapporteur’s visit was to assess the situation of victims of human trafficking, in particular for sexual and labor exploitation, and to assess measures that protect and provide victims with effective remedies. [OHCHR Press Release] Her visit concluded with a press conference in which she set forth criteria to combat human trafficking, including the establishment of awareness-raising programs regarding the perception of risk, and praised Cuba for its political will to combat human trafficking and its free healthcare, education, and social security systems, which help reduce vulnerabilities that can lead to trafficking. [Reuters; Cuba Debate (in Spanish)] The findings made during this visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018. The last official visit to Cuba by a UN independent expert was conducted between October 28 and November 6, 2007, by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler. See Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, UN Doc. A/HRC/7/5/Add.3, 3 March 2008. Read more
Lisa Reinsberg of the International Justice Resource Center speaks before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
On March 21st, the International Justice Resource Center (IJRC) was among the civil society organizations that appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. to address the “travel ban” and two other United States executive orders in a hearing held at the IACHR’s own initiative. In a remarkable departure from recent administrations’ engagement with the region’s human rights monitoring body, the U.S. failed to participate in the hearing.
Last month, in a joint letter submitted by IJRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), several dozen organizations urged the IACHR to examine alleged human rights violations resulting from U.S. President Trump’s executive order restricting the travel of individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries and the resettlement of refugees. The IACHR called for an expanded hearing to also include two other executive orders, one concerning the construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and for increased immigration detention and enforcement, and another that expedites environmental assessments of infrastructure projects such as oil pipelines.
The organizations presented specific requests that the IACHR could pursue to monitor the human rights situation, including conducting on-site visits to relevant areas, issuing press releases, and following up on the implementation of its prior recommendations to the United States, among others.
The webcast of the hearing is available on the Commission’s YouTube channel and on IJRC’s website, which also has additional information on the hearing, including civil society submissions to the IACHR. Read more