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[Press Release] "No one shall be subjected to forced disappearance"

February 2007

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On 6 February 2007 in Paris, the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Forced Disappearance, adopted on 20 December 2006 by the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, was opened for signature.

FIACAT recalls all the victims of forced disappearances whose identity and dignity have thus far been denied and who had no legal protection.

Henceforth, forced disappearances will be considered as a crime, or even a crime against humanity. Victims, or their families, will be entitled to know the truth, to be protected and to receive compensation. States must take preventive measures by stepping up their guarantees as far as detention is concerned. Whilst forced disappearances remain, unfortunately, a fact of life in some parts of the world, including sometimes democratic countries, outlawing it at international level required the determination and hope of the families of the disappeared, the mobilisation of civil society and celebrities such as Argentinean writer Julio Cortazar, a coalition of NGOs, the commitment of the International Red Cross, the repeated political will of the international community, the expertise of certain UN rapporteurs, the political will of countries such as France and Argentina and the support of the new Human Rights Council.

Today, FIACAT salutes the 57 States which, on 6 February 2007, signed the treaty, one after another, marking their agreement with the text and their commitment to upholding it: France, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo, Croatia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Japan, Lithuania, the Maldives, Moldavia, Morocco, Uganda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, the FYROM, Chad, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chilli, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Finland, Grenada, Honduras, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Niger, Paraguay, Portugal, Samoa, Sweden, Uruguay, Mali, Azerbaijan.

FIACAT calls on these signatory States to ratify this new instrument as soon as possible and to encourage other States to join them. More than twenty ratifications are needed for the convention to come into force this year.

FIACAT calls on all non-State actors to renounce these practices and calls on them to express their claims without recourse to measures which ride roughshod over human dignity.

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