Declaration of the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances

Press release
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On the occasion of the start of the campaign for the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances

Palais des Nations, Room XXI, Sixth session of the Human Rights Council

The Coalition, which gathers families of the disappeared together with human rights NGOs, has, as its principal objective to work towards the eradication of the practice of enforced disappearance. In particular the Coalition aims for the ratification and entry into force of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the establishment of the Commitee on enforced disappearances as provided for by this treaty.

This Convention fills an immense gap in the international legal framework which is the lack of an international treaty to prevent and suppress this international crime and most serious violation of human rights.

The Convention provides for the right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance as well as the right for the relatives of the disappeared person to know the truth. The Convention contains several provisions concerning the issues of prevention, investigation and sanctioning of this crime, as well as the rights of victims and their relatives and the wrongful removal of children born during the captivity.

Today 61 States have signed the Convention and several more States expressed their intention to do the same. The Coalition considers that the prompt ratification, entry into force and implementation of the Convention must now be a priority for all governments. We stress that implementation of the provisions would constitute a critical development in the strengthening of human rights and the rule of law, both nationally and internationally.

The Coalition therefore calls on all Member States of the United Nations to:
Sign the Convention without delay;
Ratify the Convention without delay;
Refrain from reservations to the Convention that may result incompatible with the object and purpose of the convention;
Recognize the competence of the new Committee on Enforced Disappearance to receive and consider individual complaints; and
Enact necessary implementing legislation into national law without delay.

Finally, the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances underlines that the success of the Convention and the effective prevention of the crime of enforced disappearance depends on its widespread promotion. We therefore invite all States to undertake all necessary measures to publicly support and promote the Convention and we encourage all States to continue along the path which leads to a world free from disappearances.

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