|31 Jan 2008 - Ms. Yakin Erturk, Visits Saudi Arabia|
31 January 2008, Riyadh,
The Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, Ms. Yakin Erturk, is carrying out an official visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Government and within the framework of her mandate. Her mission is taking place during 4 – 13 February 2008. The mission programme consists of meetings with national and local authorities, representatives of civil society and individuals, including victims.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur (SR) on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, was created by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1994. Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka) served as SR from 1994 until July 2003. Ms. Yakin Erturk (Turkey) was appointed in August 2003 and currently serves as SR.
The SR on Violence against women’s working methods include conducting country missions; reviewing communications from individuals or groups alleging violence against women and intervening, where appropriate, with government in relation to alleged violations; exploring specific area of law or practice related to the mandate and reporting on them annually to the Human Rights Council (previously to the Commission on Human Rights) and, since 2005, also makes an oral presentation to 3rd Committee of the General Assembly.
Ms. Erturk’s annual reports have been on the following themes: Towards an Effective Implementation of International Norms to End Violence against Women (2003); Intersections of Violence against Women on HIV/AIDS (2004); Standard of Due Diligence (2005); and Intersections between Culture and Violence against Women (2006). Her Next report to the Human Rights Commission, scheduled to be presented in the Council’s 7th session (March 2008), will be on Indicators (for measuring violence against women and States’ responses to it).
Ms. Erturk as the current Special Rapporteur on violence against women has so far carried out fact-finding missions to El-Salvador (February 2004), Guatemala (February 2004), the Occupied Palestinian Territory (June 2004), the Darfur region of Sudan (Sep – Oct 2004), the Russian Federation (December 2004), the Islamic Republic of Iran (February 2005), Mexico (February 2005), Afghanistan (July 2005), Turkey (May 2006), Sweden (June 2006), the Netherlands (July 2006), Algeria (January 2007), Ghana (July 2007), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (July 2007).
Ms. Erturk is meeting during her mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia high officials from various entities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shoura Council, Ministry of Culture & Media, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy & Planning, Ministry of Social Affairs, Human Rights Commission, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, King Saud University in Riyadh, King AbdulAziz University in Jeddah, and King Fahd University for Petroleum & Minerals in Dhahran.
Ms. Erturk is holding a press conference on the last day of her mission, Wednesday 13 February 2008, at the United Nations Building in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. The Press Conference is going to be held for one hour from 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM.