Paris – Geneva – 30 August 2012 – The international community commemorates the International Day of the Disappeared. On this day, the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), as a member of the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED), pays tribute to all the victims of enforced disappearance throughout the world in various ways.
Enforced disappearance is one of the worst human rights violations. A huge number of people throughout the world are affected by this scourge. It is imperative for civil society and governments to forge solidarity in bringing to an end the practice of enforced disappearance and to ensure that the right to truth, justice, reparation and memory are guaranteed.
The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), in its 2011 report, states that there are 53,788 outstanding cases of enforced disappearance. Each case is not only a part of the global statistics on enforced disappearance. It signifies a flagrant violation of the most basic rights to life and liberty; the right to a family, to a community, to a decent work and many more. From the testimonies of those who surfaced alive, enforced disappearance subjects people to torture, degrading and inhuman treatment. Not only does it instill excruciating pain and sufferings to the immediate victims, it also causes pain and anxiety to the surviving families and relatives. Especially if the victims were breadwinners, the disappearance not only causes emotional and psychological anguish, but also economic dislocation to the surviving families.
On 23 December 2010 the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention) entered into force. Almost two years later, the number of States Parties is still too low vis-à-vis the 87 countries with outstanding cases of enforced disappearance mentioned in the 2011 report of the WGEID. Further, a considerable number of States Parties has not recognized the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) to receive and consider individual and inter-State communications – a reality which is a cause of real concern for the ICAED.
As a tribute to the world’s disappeared on this International Day of the Disappeared, FIACAT calls on all States:
To adopt all measures to prevent enforced disappearance from recurring, including making it criminal under national law;
To establish the truth on past cases;
To conduct investigations of cases and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, to prosecute and sanction perpetrators and to provide redress to victims.
To cooperate with the UN WGEID and to sign and ratify the Convention, without making any prohibited reservation.
Stop Enforced Disappearances NOW!
FIACAT: Lionel Grassy - email@example.com - +41 787 499 328