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Cuba Invites United Nations human rights Investigator for first time in decade regarding Human Trafficking

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

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Jean Ziegler (2nd R), UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, speaks with a translator during a news conference in Havana Nov. 6, 2007, VOA
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Geneva, April 7, 2017: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 November 2007. (VOA)

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  • oaguilar

    Every country has prostitution, even more if they are poor. I know Cuban police chase prostitutes and pimps.

Next Story

Mysterious Health Incidents Affect 1 More American in Cuba

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba

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A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017.
A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017. VOA

One more U.S. Embassy employee in Havana, Cuba, has been affected by mysterious health incidents, the State Department said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said one of two Americans recently evacuated from Cuba was “medically confirmed” to have been affected, while the other was “still being evaluated” by doctors.

25 Americans affected

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba.

“We still don’t know, to this day, what is causing it and who is responsible,” Nauert said, noting that investigations were underway in Havana as well as Guangzhou, China, where one employee experienced similar symptoms recently.

The United States has said that the Cuba incidents started in late 2016. The State Department calls them “specific attacks” but has not said what caused them or who was behind them. Cuba has adamantly denied involvement or knowledge.

Initial speculation centered on some type of sonic attack owing to strange sounds heard by those affected, but an interim FBI report in January found no evidence that sound waves could have caused the damage, The Associated Press has reported.

Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing
Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing, flickr

Warning issued in China

The State Department issued a health warning after the employee in China reported experiencing “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure” and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it as a “serious medical incident.”

Also read: Cuba Invites United Nations human rights Investigator for first time in decade regarding Human Trafficking

The new confirmation came less than a week after the U.S. renewed demands on Cuba to determine the source of the “attacks” on U.S. diplomats. Cuba responded by again denying any involvement in or knowledge of any such attacks. (VOA)