Convention on enforced disappearances


A Press Release from the International Coalition against Enforced
Disappearances forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

WORLD: The International Convention for the Protection of all Persons
From Enforced Disappearances Enters Into Force on 23 December 2010

(November 25, 2010) On 23 November 2010, the Republic of Iraq
deposited the 20th instrument of ratification for the International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearances to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Iraq
becomes the 20th State to ratify this treaty. Its historic accession
means that the Convention will enter into force on 23 December 2010,
30 days after the 20th accession or ratification.

This development has profound meaning for all families of the
disappeared and to the International Coalition Against Enforced
Disappearances (ICAED) and all other organizations and individuals who
have worked so hard to make this possible. The Committee Against
Disappearances to be established to monitor the compliance by
State-parties of the provisions of this Convention is expected to be a
powerful international means of protection against enforced
disappearances in the near future.

The coming into force of the Convention is a historic step on the
road to ensuring that no person will ever again be subjected to the
crime of enforced disappearances. This Convention also recognises the
right of all the victims to know the truth about the circumstances of
cases of enforced disappearances and has strong provisions on justice,
redress, reparation, reconstruction of historical memory and
guarantees of non-repetition.

This development in the international arena is indeed a reason for
celebration. It equally requires redoubling of commitment of all
parties to end this despicable crime against humanity. Its value is
concrete and practical and depends largely on the sustained efforts of
victims’ families, NGOs, governments, the UN and its new committee
to use the instrument to hold violators accountable, to prevent
recurrence and to deter future violations.

As the ICAED expresses profound gratitude to all State-parties, it
likewise calls on all of them to:

Recognize enforced disappearance in their penal codes as a criminal
offence and that all sectors of the justice system are educated to
enforce it.
Make sure to provide access to remedy and reparation, in law and
practice, to the victims including family members of the disappeared.
Recognise the Committee against Enforced Disappearances for those
cases in which the ratification did not include the recognition of its

Finally the ICAED also calls on all states that have not yet ratified
the Convention to do it as soon as possible. Finally, the ICAED wishes
to thank all the relatives of disappeared persons; their associations;
all the member organisations of the Coalition as well as all the other
organisations and human rights defenders which contributed to this
historical achievement.

Let us celebrate this success, prepare for the entry into force of
the treaty on 23 December 2010 and sustain the work for more
ratifications so that universal implementation be ensured.

About the ICAED: The International Coalition against Enforced
Disappearances (ICAED) gathers organisations of families of
disappeared and NGO’s that work in a non-violent manner against the
practice of enforced disappearances at the local, national and
international level. The principal objective of ICAED is an early
ratification and effective implementation of the International
Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced

Aim for human rights -- Netherlands, Amnesty International, Asian
Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), Civil Initiative
We Remember Foundation -- Belarus, Collectif des Familles de Disparus
en Algérie (CFDA) -- Algeria, Euro-Med Federation Against Enforced
Disappearances (FEMED), Fédération Internationale des Droits de
l’Homme (FIDH), Fédération Internationale de l’ACAT (FIACAT),
Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de
Detenidos-Desaparecidos (FEDEFAM) Human Rights Watch (HRW),
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Russian Justice Initiative
-- Russia, Liga Guatemalteca de Higiene Mental -- Guatemala, TRIAL
(Track Impunity Always -- association suisse contre l’impunité) --
Switzerland, Breaking the Walls of Silence -- Namibia, AFAPREDESA -
Western Sahara, Asociacíon Derechos Humanos Económicos, Sociales y
Culturales en Guatemala (DESCGUA) -- Guatemala, Disarmament and
Non-Violence -- Georgia, Lawyers for Human Rights- South Africa,
National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) -- Namibia, Colegio de
Abogados - Peru, Association of Family Members of Disappeared - Sri
Lanka, Asociación Pro-Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos de
El Salvador - El Salvador, Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos
-- Peru, Asociacion de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, Ejecuciones
Extrajudiciales y Torturados de Huancayo-Junin-Peru -- Peru, Families
of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) -- Philippines,
Organisation Marocaine Des Droits HUMAINS -- Morocco, Al-Ata’a for
Human Rights Support -- Iraq, Qatari Panituri -- Peru, Institute for
Community Policing -- Nigeria, Association de Parents et Amis de
Disparus au Maroc -- Morocco, Comité de coordination des Familiies
des Disparus au Maroc, Morocco, Asociacion por la recuperacion de la
memoria históica de Cataluña RMHC -- Spain, Truth Now -- Cyprus,
Comision de Derechos Humanos -- Peru, Social Justice for Equality --
Nepal, Centro de documentacion en derechos humanos "Segundo Montes
Mozo S.J"- Ecuador, Zimbabwe Peace Project - Zimbabwe

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional
non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights
issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
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