Cuba agreed [press release] on Thursday to a visit from UN Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro to assess the human trafficking situation in the country. This visit will be the first in ten years by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council [official website]. According to Giammarinaro, her visit is “an opportunity to meet relevant authorities and key people and groups, to determine the progress made and the challenges Cuba faces in addressing trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation.” Her goal in visiting Cuba is to promote prevention of trafficking and to encourage effective measures to protect human rights of trafficking victims. A press conference will take place on April 14 to share her preliminary observations and an official report will be given in June 2018.
Cuba has isolated itself for external interference for a long period. In January, former US President Barack Obama ended the “wet-foot, dry foot” policy [JURIST report], which automatically allowed Cuban migrants to stay in the US. The Cuban government stated this repeal was an important step in advancing relations between the two countries. Former US President took other steps to stabilize relations with Cuba such as extending condolences after Castro’s death, resuming diplomatic relations, and dropping [JURIST reports] it from the national terrorism list. In 2016, former President-elect, now President, Trump assured [JURIST report] his administration will “do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”