UN human rights expert to visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

GENEVA (9 September 2016) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Dubravka Šimonović will visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 12 to 22 September to examine the overall situation of violence against women and girls, and gather first-hand information from women survivors of violence.

“I am very grateful to both authorities for their invitation to conduct an official visit which will enable me to assess progress made and remaining challenges in their responses to violence against women and girls,” Ms. Šimonović said. “I am confident that my visit will help strengthening the authorities’ capacity to respond to acts of violence against women and girls, and to better protect and promote women’s rights.”

During her eleven-day visit, the expert will meet with representatives of the authorities and civil society organisations, as well as with UN officials. In Israel, the expert is scheduled to visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer-Sheva, Haifa and Nazareth. In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, she plans to visit Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

The Special Rapporteur will also visit shelters for victims of domestic violence and she will meet with women victims of violence. “I hope that as a result of my interactions with the numerous stakeholders, I will contribute to the current discussions and efforts in the fight against gender-based violence in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she said.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on the initial findings of her visit on Thursday 22 September 2016 at 13:00 at the American Colony hotel, Jerusalem. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, Ms. Šimonović will present a report with final findings and recommendations during the thirty-fifth session of Human Rights Council, in June 2017.