UN expert in Cuba for human trafficking probe



(11 Apr 2017) An independent expert from the United Nations was in Cuba on Monday for a four-day visit to evaluate the human trafficking situation on the island for the first time in a decade.
Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro visited a school and met with parliament leader Esteban Lazo on Monday, before heading off to scheduled trips in the provinces of Matanzas and Artemisa near the capital, Havana.
Such U.N. visits are routine in other countries, but Cuba has generally rejected inspections by international organizations. The government has relaxed that stance somewhat in recent years, and officials welcomed Giammarinaro upon her arrival and stressed that Cuba has a zero-tolerance policy on trafficking.
They presented her with a government action plan on trafficking and exploitation. According to government statistics, in 2015 a little over 2,000 cases of underage sexual abuse were reported among a population of 2.6 million children.
Giammarinaro expects to analyze what progress Cuba has made and the challenges it still faces regarding trafficking, including sexual and labor exploitation.
The findings will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2018.

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