UN probes Belize human-trafficking report

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, will visit Belize from Dec. 12-16 “to examine the situation of trafficking of women, men and children.”

It will be the first time that an independent expert of the U.N. Human Rights Council is visiting the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-member state.

“During my visit to the Belize, I will study the situation in order to make recommendations to prevent and fight trafficking, and protect its victims,” Ezeilo said.

The U.N. Human Rights Office said Ezeilo, who visits Belize at the invitation of the government, will engage with State representatives, as well as members of international and civil society organizations working on the fight against trafficking in persons “in order to assess the challenges and opportunities in Belize.”

Ezeilo is charged by the Human Rights Council to promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims.

“I look forward to this visit and the opportunity to engage with the government and stakeholders on effective and sustainable ways to combat trafficking in persons,” Ezeilo said.

The U.N. Human Rights Council said she will present a comprehensive report containing her conclusions and recommendations in June 2014.

Nigerian-born Ezeilo, a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Nigeria started her mandate as special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children in August 2008, the Council said. She has served in various governmental capacities and consulted for various international organizations, and is currently involved in several non-governmental organizations, particularly working on women’s rights.