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United Nations Rights Expert to Visit Nigeria to Assess Situation of Internally Displaced Persons

United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani will carry out his first official visit to Nigeria from 23 to 26 August to examine the situation and human rights of internally displaced persons in the country.  

“The challenges confronting Nigeria and its government are considerable and cannot be overstated,” Mr. Beyani said. “The Northeastern part of the country has witnessed an unprecedented increase in violence and the escalation of attacks by Boko Haram since 2009, which has forced the displacement of more than two million people from their homes and triggered a humanitarian crisis.”

“I will gather information on situations of internal displacement including both new and protracted displacement,” said the human rights expert, who will also examine the legal, policy and institutional frameworks in place for prevention of displacement, protection and assistance for internally displaced persons, and recovery.  

During his four-day visit, Mr. Beyani will travel to Abuja and consult with the Government as well as a wide range of other national and international partners, with a view to examining the ongoing responses and challenges, and assisting them to meet their obligations towards internally displaced persons and to support durable solutions for them.

The Special Rapporteur will visit camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, Borno State, which is the epicenter of the displacement crisis, and hear from IDPs and representatives of host communities first-hand to learn about their needs, challenges and expectations.  

At the end of his visit, on Friday 26 August 2016, the expert will share his preliminary observations with the media at a press conference which will be held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will subsequently produce a comprehensive report and recommendations based on his visit for presentation to the Human Rights Council in June 2017.

Mr. Chaloka Beyani (Zambia) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx 

Check the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/Standards.aspx 

UN Human Rights, country page – Nigeria: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MZIndex.aspx   

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).