USA: UN Expert to Visit to Assess Rights of Minorities

(Special Correspondent)

GENEVA (5 November 2021) – The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, will visit the United States of America from 8 to 22 November 2021.

The expert will look at legislation, programmes, policies and practices that affect people belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, including effective political participation, education, access to justice and administration of criminal justice.

De Varennes will also address measures to address hate crimes and hate speech, particularly in social media, targeting minorities.

“I look forward to gaining first-hand insight and better understanding about issues related to minorities in the United States, including through meetings with members of minorities, to hear their views and understand their issues and concerns,” he said.

“I will aim to identify good practices as well as areas for improvement in the United States’ efforts to ensure full implementation of its international human rights commitments relevant to minorities.”

During his 15-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will travel to Washington D.C., Guam, California, Texas and Puerto Rico. He will meet government officials at the federal, state and territorial levels, representatives of civil society and members of minorities, including of the deaf community.

At the end of his visit, on Monday, 22 November, de Varennes will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a news conference at the United Nations Information Center,1775 K Street NW, Suite 500, Washington D.C., at 12.00 pm local time. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report of his visit to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council.

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