UN rights expert on toxic materials launches first official visit to Sierra Leone

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The Special Rapporteur, who is making his first official visit to the country, said he would assess Sierra Leone’s work so far to protect people’s rights from the effects of toxic materials

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 9, 2017/APO/ —United Nations expert Baskut Tuncak will visit Sierra Leone from 14 to 25 August to assess the country’s human rights record in relation to hazardous substances and waste.

A press conference will be held at the conclusion of the visit, on 25 August 2017, at the UNDP office

The Special Rapporteur, who is making his first official visit to the country, said he would assess Sierra Leone’s work so far to protect people’s rights from the effects of toxic materials.

“I am keen to learn more about Sierra Leone’s legislative and policy frameworks to protect human rights from pollution and contamination, including with regard to extractive industries and the agricultural sectors,” Mr Tuncak said.

“During the visit, I will also focus on the efforts by the State to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses, as well as redress for victims, particularly those most at risk, such as children, women, older people and workers,” said the expert on hazardous substances and waste.

Mr. Tuncak, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will meet Government representatives as well as civil society organizations and the business community.

press conference will be held at the conclusion of the visit, on 25 August 2017, at the UNDP office, 55 Wilkinson Road, Freetown, at 12:00 noon local time. Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report with his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).