Wednesday, July 6, 2011

UN to study over 350 cases of disappearances

GENEVA – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has started reviewing more than 350 cases of enforced disappearances, including recently submitted information on previously accepted cases, and other communications concerning more than 40 countries.

During its 94th session, taking place at the headquarters of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva from 4-8 July, the independent experts will hold meetings with Government delegations and civil society representatives, including relatives of disappeared persons, to exchange views on individual cases under consideration and on the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in general.

The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. 

The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa) and the other members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon) and Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France).

The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. 

It endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. 

In view of the Working Group's humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person is clearly established.

The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved. 

It also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

For more information and media requests:

Ms. Giovanna Zucchelli: 
+41 22 917 9189

Mr. Matías Pellado:
+41 22 917 9336

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