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[Press Release] Adoption of the Forced Disappearance Convention by the United Nations General Assembly

December 2006

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Press release

Adoption of the Forced Disappearance Convention by the United Nations General Assembly.

Paris, 21 December 2006

The UN General Assembly yesterday adopted the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Forced Disappearance, supported by more than 100 States.

FIACAT warmly welcomes this event, a very important step towards combating forced disappearances and protecting victims and their families. More than 40 000 People have disappeared under these circumstances since 1980, and the UN estimates that there were 535 disappearances in 2005.

- States that sign the Convention will have to investigate these crimes and prosecute the perpetrators, and put in place a system for providing compensation to direct victims of forced disappearances.

- The Convention also creates a committee of 10 independent experts responsible for monitoring its application. In emergencies, an application can be made to this committee to search for missing persons. It can also carry out visits in the field.

France has announced that the Convention will be presented for signature at a ceremony in Paris on 6 February 2007. At this event, the main countries that have been implementing the pilot project will solemnly sign, but twenty countries will have to ratify or adhere to it for it to come into force. The 103 States which supported the Convention must lead from the front and ratify it as soon as possible; FIACAT will be monitoring the situation.

Contact: Guillaume Colin – pc-fi.acat@wanadoo.fr

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