UN GROUP ON RISING NUMBER OF DISAPPEARANCES ON INT
From: UNNews@... <UNNews@...>
Date: 30 Aug 2007 23:31
UN GROUP SOUNDS ALARM ON RISING NUMBER OF DISAPPEARANCES ON INTERNATIONAL
New York, Aug 30 2007 2:00PM
Marking the International Day of the Disappeared, a United Nations working
group voiced concern over the increasing number of enforced disappearances
worldwide and reaffirmed its solidarity with victims and human rights
defenders working on their behalf.
The Geneva-based <" http://www.ohchr. org/english/ issues/disappear /index.htm">UN
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances noted in a <"
http://www.unhchr. ch/huricane/ huricane. nsf/view01/ E3131D0B4E6346E6 C12573460056D0C8 ?opendocument">statement
that "in view of the continuous nature of this offense, victims of enforced
disappearances whose fate or whereabouts remain unknown should not only be
commemorated once a year. Rather, every day is a day of the disappeared. "
Reminding States of their obligations under the Declaration on the
Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance which was adopted in
1992, the Group called for effective investigations to be conducted for all
The Group, comprising five independent experts, said it was particularly
troubled by amnesty laws or other measures which result in impunity and are
contrary to the Declaration.
"States should refrain from making or enacting amnesty laws that would
exempt the perpetrators of enforced disappearance from criminal proceedings
and sanctions," it said.
Underreporting of cases in some areas is also problematic, the Group pointed
out, as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are not present, organized or
have the resources needed to deal with disappearances.
The Group called on the international community to provide ongoing support
for the creation of associations of families and NGOs tackling the issue.
Established in 1980, the Working Group is mandated to assist the relatives
of disappeared persons by ascertaining their fate and whereabouts, as well
as to act as a conduit between the families and Governments concerned.
In the statement, it reiterated its commitment to promptly take up
allegations received from family members or NGOs regarding difficulties
encountered in implementing the Declaration.
The Group also welcomed the adoption of the International Convention to
Protect all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, calling it a "significant
step forward." It urged all States to ratify the new instrument, which will
help to prevent future disappearances.