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UN Special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights starts a visit to Romania


The situation of the Roma, disabled people and children is the subject of the upcoming visit by United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, scheduled November 2-11, UNICEF Romania informs. 

It is worrying that over 70pct of representatives of the Roma minority in Romania live below the poverty line, Alston stated, according to a UNICEF press release sent in Wednesday. Moreover, they are facing many other challenges related to human rights, from cases of forced eviction from their homes to excess force use by police. Also, the poverty rate is very high among certain categories of children, and the way in which disabled people are treated is worrying, the release added. 

Alston will evaluate the government's efforts to eradicate poverty. He will visit Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Bacau and Ilfov Counties for meetings and talks with government representatives, local authorities, MPs, NGOs, representatives of international organizations, courts, academics and people who live in extreme poverty. 

Eradicating poverty is possible if the Romanian government and the society overall tackle in a serious way this particularly critical issue. However, in order to observe and protect the human rights among the more vulnerable individuals, there is a need for political will. I am very interested to know how Romania is tackling these issues through government policies, public spending and its institutions, Alston added. 

On November 11 the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference at the UN headquarters to present the preliminary observations of the visit. His findings and recommendations will be presented in a report by the Human Rights Council in June 2016. 

Australian-born Philip Alston took over the position of Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in June 2014, on appointment by the Human Rights Council. He is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law and has held several senior UN appointments for over two decades.