Graphs showing the number of cases of enforced disappearances per year and in Egypt and Pakistan according to the cases transmitted by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances during the period from 1980 to 18 May 2016. Graphic: UN Human Rights Council

16 September 2016 (UN) – In its latest report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances expressed deep concern and frustration at the rising number of cases, and underlined the need to prevent such acts and hold the perpetrators to account.

“We are seriously concerned that the number of enforced disappearances is increasingly rising with the false and pernicious belief that they are a useful tool to preserve national security and combat terrorism,” the human rights experts told the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, according to a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“Last year alone, we dealt with 483 urgent actions out of 766 newly reported cases of disappearance in 37 States; more than three times higher than those reflected in our previous year’s annual report,” they added, highlighting that this number – more than one disappearance per day – is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

According to the news release, the Working Group expressed particular concern about a steep increase in the number of so-called ‘short-term disappearances.’

“The fact that the victim reappears in many of these cases, does not render less worrisome this form of enforced disappearance, which is equally serious and must be eradicated,” the experts noted and strongly reiterated that: “There is no time limit, no matter how short, for an enforced disappearance to occur.”

In their presentation, the experts also drew attention of the Council members to a pattern of threats, intimidation and reprisals against victims of enforced disappearance, including family members, witnesses and human rights defenders working on such cases.

In its report, the Working Group also made preliminary observations on the problem of enforced disappearances in the context of migration.

Over the next year, the experts will assess the issues of migration caused by enforced disappearances, enforced disappearances of migrants, factors contributing to the enforced disappearance of migrants; and State obligations in the context of the enforced disappearance of migrants, noted the news release.

Yesterday, the Working Group also presented its reports on Peru, Sri Lanka and Turkey, the follow-up report to the recommendations made upon past visits to Congo and Pakistan.

Since its creation in 1980, the expert group has transmitted a total of 55,273 cases to 107 States. The number of cases under active consideration stands at 44,159 in a total of 91 States. During the last year, 161 cases were clarified.

The Working Group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

Increasing cases of enforced disappearances ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’ UN experts group warns


GENEVA (15 September 2016) – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances today warned that enforced disappearances are on the rise, and expressed deep concern and frustration for what it defined as “a very frightening trend.”

“We are seriously concerned that the number of enforced disappearances is increasingly rising with the false and pernicious belief that they are a useful tool to preserve national security and combat terrorism,” said the human rights experts during the presentation of its latest report* to the UN Human Rights Council.

“During last year alone, we dealt with 483 urgent actions out of 766 newly reported cases of disappearance in 37 States; more than three times higher than those reflected in our previous year’s annual report,” they noted. “This means more than one disappearance per day, and obviously it is just the tip of the iceberg when we talk about the cases the Working Group receives.”

The experts expressed concern in particular about a steep increase in the so-called ‘short-term disappearances’, the unacknowledged deprivation of liberty which puts the individual concerned outside the protection of the law for a limited amount of time.

“The fact that the victim reappears in many of these cases, does not render less worrisome this form of enforced disappearance, which is equally serious and must be eradicated,” the experts observed. “We strongly reiterate that there is no time limit, no matter how short, for an enforced disappearance to occur.”

Since its creation in 1980, the expert group has transmitted a total of 55,273 cases to 107 States. The number of cases under active consideration stands at 44,159 in a total of 91 States. During the last year, 161 cases were clarified.

The expert group also drew attention to a pattern of threats, intimidation and reprisals against victims of enforced disappearance, including family members, witnesses and human rights defenders working on such cases.

In its report, the Working Group also makes preliminary observations on the problem of enforced disappearances in the context of migration. Over the next year, the experts will assess the issues of migration caused by enforced disappearances, enforced disappearances of migrants, factors contributing to the enforced disappearance of migrants; and State obligations in the context of the enforced disappearance of migrants.

“We are grateful for the interests shown by many delegations and other stakeholders on the crucial issue of enforced disappearances in the context of migration and would welcome any input thereon as we embark in further studying this issue,” they said.

The Working Group also presented its reports** on Peru, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, the follow-up report to the recommendations made upon past visits to Congo and Pakistan.

In relation to the country visits, the Working Group noted that some positive steps are being taken in Peru and Sri Lanka in relation to the right to truth for past disappearances but that “much still to be done, especially when it comes to accountability and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

With reference to the visit to Turkey, the experts noted that little has been done so far to comprehensively address past enforced disappearances and that “is imperative for the Turkish Government to come to terms with past violations and turn this page once and for all. This would be particularly important to give a clear signal in the current difficult situation”.

Commenting on the follow-up report on Congo, the Working Group regretted that unfortunately no reply was received from Congo in the process of preparation of the follow-up report “Many of the recommendations made upon the Working Group’s visit to the country in 2011 remain valid today,” the experts stressed.

Regarding the follow-up report on Pakistan, the Group welcomed the cooperation from the Government throughout the follow-up process. “We regret though that most of the recommendations contained in our 2012 report have not been implemented yet and that we continue to receive high number of allegations of enforced disappearances,” they noted.

“We stand ready to assist the Government of Pakistan in the implementation of these recommendations and we encourage it to consider inviting the Working Group for a follow-up visit to the country,” the experts concluded.

(*) Check the Working Group’s annual report (A/HRC/33/51)

(**) See the press releases on:
Turkey
Sri Lanka
Peru (English) (Spanish)

0 comments :

 

Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews