HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – The United Nations special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, will visit Zimbabwe from Oct. 18 to 28 to assess the impact of sanctions on the country.
A statement from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released on Tuesday said that Douhan will gather first-hand information related to the negative impact of the sanctions.
She will undertake field visits to enable her to assess and evaluate their adverse effects before preparing recommendations and guidelines on means to mitigate or eliminate them.
Her visit follows an invitation by the Zimbabwean government, which has been reeling under unilateral sanctions from western countries led by the United States, Britain and the European Union.
While those who imposed sanctions argue that they are targeted on a few individuals, the government says that their impact was being felt throughout the whole economy.
As a result of the sanctions, especially the United States’ Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, Zimbabwe has not enjoyed as much support from international financial institutions as it should.
The sanctions were imposed at the turn of the century when the country embarked on land reforms which saw thousands of white commercial farmers losing their land to formerly landless blacks.
Douhan is currently seeking the views of all relevant stakeholders to inform the thematic and geographical focus of the visit and subsequent reporting.
The statement said the purpose of the mission was to examine, in the spirit of cooperation and dialogue, whether and to what extent the adoption, maintenance or implementation of unilateral sanctions impeded the full realization of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
This included the right of individuals and people to development in particular.