GENEVA (6 October 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, will carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka from 10 to 23 October 2017, to examine the progress made in redressing the legacies of massive past violations and abuses, including those that resulted from a conflict that spanned more than 25 years.
In 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka committed itself to designing and implementing a comprehensive transitional justice strategy.
“My visit aims to review the progress made thus far, to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in the implementation of the transitional justice and reform process, and to discuss opportunities with the Government and Sri Lankan society to overcome these,” said Mr. de Greiff.
The human rights expert will meet Government officials at central and provincial levels, representatives of the legislature, members of the judiciary, the armed forces, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, political parties, the Human Rights Commission, civil society, victims’ groups, academics and representatives of the international community.
He is scheduled to visit Colombo as well as other locations in the south, centre, north and east of the country.
The expert will present his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Monday 23 October 2017, at 14:00 local time at the UN building, 202 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. Access to the press conference will be limited to journalists.
The final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2018.
Mr.Pablo de Greiff (Colombia) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 as the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. He has extensive professional and academic expertise on transitional justice issues, including on the four measures under this mandate. He is currently Director of the Project on Transitional Justice of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law. Mr. de Greiff has worked with different transitional justice bodies across the world and has provided advice to a number of Governments and multilateral institutions on international policy, transitional justice, and on the linkages between justice, security and development. He has also collaborated with numerous NGOs working with victims in many countries. He was the Director of Research at the International Center for Transitional Justice from 2001 to 2014
As Special Rapporteur, Mr. de Greiff is 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.