Cuba invites first U.N. rights investigator in a decade
Reuters April 6, 2017
GENEVA (Reuters) - Cuba has agreed to a visit by a United Nations human
rights investigator for the first time in decade, inviting an expert on
human trafficking this month, a U.N. statement said on Thursday.
Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, U.N. special rapporteur on trafficking in
persons, especially women and children, will visit the Caribbean island
nation from April 10-14, making stops in Havana, Matanzas and Artemisa.
"Her visit will be the first to the country in 10 years by an
independent expert of the U.N. Human Rights Council," the statement said.
Authorities in communist-run Cuba have long resisted what they regard as
external interference in their human rights record.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama initiated secret negotiations leading
to normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations in 2015 after decades of enmity.
U.S. organizations that worked closely on the effort have called on the
Trump administration not to act rashly toward Cuba, saying that the
policy has improved human rights and internet access there.
Giammarinaro, an Italian judge and trafficking expert serving in the
independent post since June 2017, said she would meet Cuban authorities
and activists to discuss challenges in addressing trafficking for sexual
and labor exploitation.
"Particular attention will be paid to measures in place and those
planned to prevent trafficking, to protect victims and provide them with
access to effective remedies," she said.
The last U.N. human rights expert to visit Cuba was the then U.N.
special rapporteur on the right to food, Swiss expert Jean Ziegler, in
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
Source: Cuba invites first U.N. rights investigator in a decade -