UNHRC45 - Dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Monday 21 September 2020

Madam President,

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) welcomes the Working Group’s annual report and addendum on standards and public policies for an effective investigation of enforced disappearances.

The IBAHRI is deeply alarmed by the widespread prevalence of enforced disappearances around the world, despite being prohibited under international law. Among other cases, the IBAHRI is particularly concerned about recent reports of short-term enforced disappearances in Belarus. We also condemn threats, intimidation and reprisals against relatives of disappeared persons, witnesses and human rights defenders working on such cases.

The multidimensional and continuous nature of enforced disappearance violates numerous substantive and procedural rights, impacting both direct victims and their families. We wish to stress the importance of judicial, legislative and administrative safeguards to prevent enforced disappearances.

The IBAHRI calls on all States to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to intensify searches for forcibly disappeared persons, to effectively investigate and hold those responsible to account, and to provide reparations to victims and their relatives.

Furthermore, to effectively prevent and tackle enforced disappearances, we urge States to ensure that national legislation, policies and practices uphold international human rights standards and norms. Relevant institutions must also be established and afforded the necessary independence, autonomy and resources to properly fulfil their mandates.

Thank you.

This statement was delivered by:

Catherine Kent, Programme Lawyer (cath.kent@int-bar.org)
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute


Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
  2. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), an autonomous and financially independent entity, works to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

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