UN Human Rights Office clarifies error on Nigeria

A spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday explained why a reference to Nigeria in the High Commissioner’s keynote speech to the Human Rights Council was deleted shortly after it was delivered in Geneva on Tuesday.

“Regrettably, because of a technical error with our databases, the reference to Nigeria in the original speech stated incorrectly that one visit by Special Procedures was accepted last year, and that the last previous visit before that was in 2007,” said the High Commissioner’s Spokesperson Rupert Colville. “In fact, four mandate holders visited Nigeria last year, in two separate visits, and another visit had occurred two years earlier. We corrected the error as soon as it was brought to our attention, and a new version of the speech, without the incorrect reference to Nigeria, was posted on our website.”

In January 2016, there was a joint visit by three Special Rapporteurs (on the right to health; on contemporary forms of slavery; and on sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution). This was followed in August 2016 by a separate visit by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

The February 2104 visit was by the Independent Expert on minority issues. The term ‘Special Procedures’ is applied to a category of independent UN human rights experts, numbering 57 in total.  Most of them are Special Rapporteurs, but they also include some Working Groups and Independent Experts.

To see the corrected version of the High Commissioner’s speech to the Human Rights Council go to: www.ohchr.org