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UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Rashida Manjoo makes her first visit to India to assess the situation of violence against women as questions regarding the safety of women in the country mount.
The special rapporteur's visit takes place amidst India's growing national concern with regards to women's rights, sparked by the case of a student who was brutally gang raped and died from internal organ failure. Thousands all over India are demanding greater support from government, police and judicial services for the fight against sexual discrimination and violence.
While in the country, the special UN representative is scheduled to meet with government authorities in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
"I intend to look into violence against women, its causes and consequences, in its broadest possible sense," Manjoo said, adding that "recent events, including the tragedy of a young woman who was brutally gang-raped, have provided an opportunity for further reflection on laws, policies and practices and the barriers to, and challenges of, effective implementation."
After the visit, she will present a report with her final findings and recommendations at a session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The trial of those allegedly involved in the gang rape incident was moved to a fast-track court in late January 2013. All suspects pleaded not guilty.