Geneva, March 8 (RHC)-- A United Nations human rights team is to begin an official visit to Venezuela on Monday at the invitation of the Government, potentially paving the way for an official mission to Caracas by the UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet.
Five staff members are to tour the country from 11 to 22 March, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday.
The announcement follows an initial invitation last November from President Nicolas Maduro to High Commissioner Bachelet, which was reiterated by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza at the current Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
“During its visit, the team will seek to meet with Government officials, representatives of the National Assembly, civil society organizations and victims of human rights violations,” OHCHR said in a statement. “The team will visit Caracas, as well as other cities in a number of states in Venezuela.”
The High Commissioner’s office added that it is “standard practice” for a technical team to be deployed ahead of a “possible” visit by her.
'This is to ensure that Ms. Bachelet would have “unfettered access to the people and places she would need to visit, to be able to gain a clear understanding of the human rights situation in the country”, OHCHR’s statement explained.