Paralel event on enforced disappearances

March 2009

[English] [français]

On occasion of the 10th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in cooperation with Non-Violence International, Forum Asia and the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances, AFAD and FEDEFAM are organizing a parallel event at 1.00 pm. on Wednesday March 11, at Room XVI of Palais des Nations.

The occasion chosen is the eve of the fifty anniversary of the enforced disappearance in Thailand of lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit who has not been heard of since. The main subject of our meeting is: Convention for Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: urgency of Ratification.

The first Resolution of the UN Human Rights Council during its historic first session in June 2006 was the approval of the text of this Convention. Now, three years since its adoption, the treaty has been signed by 81 States but only ratified by 8 (Albania, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, France, Senegal, Honduras and Mexico). Much remains to be done for its entry into force which demands 20 ratifications. That is indeed imperative in view of the continuing phenomenon of enforced disappearances in many countries. Our hope to secure the necessary ratifications this year so as to have the Convention in force by 2010.

To open the occasion, the Honorable Santiago Corcuera, Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances will give the welcome address. Other invited speakers, including a daughter of Mr. Neelaphaijit and from organizations of the families of the disappeared from various continents will report on the situation of enforced disappearances in their region and the status of the Convention in their respective countries together with contributions from well- known experts.

They will appeal for support of the Convention by all States especially those who are members of the Council. The report and work of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances will also be considered.

- Invitation

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