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On the first anniversary of the anti-disappearance treaty, ICAED expresses its concerns over the lack of new ratifications

December 2011

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23 December 2011 - The International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) commemorates today the first anniversary of the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention).

The new Committee on Enforced Disappearances (the Committee) held its first session in November 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. The ICAED members who participated in a meeting between NGOs and the new Committee has expressed its willingness to cooperate with civil society.

The ICAED is deeply concerned about the continuing rise of enforced disappearances cases in many parts of the world as its member-organizations reported during its November 2011 international conference in Geneva. Families and relatives of the disappeared continue to suffer devastating effects of the enforced disappearance. Ironically, only ten more states have ratified the Convention since its entry into force in December 2010. Furthermore, of the 30 States Parties, only 12 have recognized the competence of the Committee to receive and examine both individual and inter-State communications.

The ICAED reiterates its call on all States to ratify and fully implement the Convention and to recognize the competence of the CED pursuant to Articles 31 and 32 of the Convention systematically included among the criteria applied by the Universal Periodic Review. Moreover, the ICAED calls on all States to adopt domestic legislation to criminalize enforced disappearance and to ensure the prevention and punishment of this crime.

The ICAED recalls that the families of victims of disappeared from Latin America were the first advocates for a convention against enforced disappearance, during FEDEFAM’s Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981.

As the year 2011 draws to a close, taking root from past achievements, the ICAED decides to step up its efforts to intensify its campaign to disseminate the core values of the Convention to fight against the abominable crime of enforced disappearance. It continues to cooperate with the 30-year old UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, whose mandate, established by 1992 UN Declaration for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is essential, especially for all States that did not ratify the Convention. It also equally commits to work with the new Committee on Enforced Disappearances whose mandate is to ensure the treaty’s implementation in governments that have ratified it.

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