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COMMITTEE ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES

Civil Society

Civil Society Engagement

There are several ways in which civil society stakeholders can engage with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and its work as described below. NGOs and other civil society stakeholders do not need any ECOSOC consultative status to use these opportunities.

I. States Parties reports under article 29 of the Convention

According to article 29, paragraph 1, States Parties are requested to submit a report on the measures taken to give effect to their obligations under the Convention within two years after the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned. Please find attached the Timetable of reports due under article 29.1 of the Convention.

In addition, according to article 29, paragraph 4, of the Convention, the Committee may also request States Parties to provide additional information on the implementation of the Convention.

After submission, States Parties’ reports will be examined by the Committee on Enforced Disappearances in public meetings during its forthcoming sessions.

Civil society stakeholders may transmit their inputs to the Committee before and/or after a report is submitted by a State Party in accordance with article 29 of the Convention, and at least 45 days prior to the beginning of the session during which the report is scheduled to be reviewed by the Committee.

II. Documentation

To consult the States Parties reports submitted, the dates and sessions during which the said reports are scheduled to be reviewed as well as the agenda and other documents related to the sessions of the Committee, please visit: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/SessionsList.aspx?Treaty=CED

III. Reports by Civil Society Organizations

The Committee welcomes local, national and international civil society stakeholders, in particular associations of families of disappeared persons, to provide country-specific information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention in the State Party concerned.

All submissions should:

  1. Identify the full name of the organization (anonymous information is not accepted).
  2. Indicate the State Party to which the information relates.
  3. Indicate whether the submission should be considered confidential or can be posted on the Committee’s website.
  4. Not contain names of victims, except if related to public cases or if the consent of the victims or relatives is obtained.
  5. Be submitted in English, French or Spanish. As most CED members use English as their working language, documents submitted in French and Spanish should, to the extent possible, be translated into English. Please note that the Secretariat does not translate documents submitted by civil society stakeholders.

Suggestions:

  1. Written information should be concise, specific, reliable and objective.
  2. Highlight priority concerns and suggest possible country-specific recommendations.
  3. “Alternative reports”, which follow the same form of presentation as reports submitted by States Parties, are especially welcome.
  4. Reports prepared by coalitions of organizations are encouraged.

The information/report shall be electronically submitted to the CED secretariat in both PDF and Word formats to ced@ohchr.org.

Due to the large volume of information received, the Secretariat does not make copies of submissions. Therefore, NGOs and other civil society stakeholders attending a session are requested to bring 20 hard copies of their reports/information for distribution at the meeting. Those not attending a session are requested to ensure that 20 hard copies of their reports/information reach the Secretariat of the Committee in time for the respective session, i.e. at least two weeks in advance.

IV. Attending the Session

Civil society representatives are welcome to attend, as observers (i.e. will not be given the opportunity to address the Committee), the public meetings during which the Committee reviews States Parties reports in the presence of the concerned State Party’s delegation.

In addition, during the sessions, civil society representatives will have the possibility of addressing the Committee during formal meetings (with interpretation in Arabic, English, French and Spanish). These meetings are set out in the programme of work and normally take place at the beginning of the session. Civil society representatives may also organize informal briefings (without interpretation) with Committee members. These meetings are usually organised from 14h to 15h on the day prior to the examination of a particular State Party. There will be a designated room for these briefings. For those civil society stakeholders that would like to address the members of the Committee but cannot travel to Geneva, the Secretariat may organize video-conferences.

Please contact the CED Secretariat at ced@ohchr.org, at least one month prior to the beginning of the session, to confirm attendance to a meeting and/or arrange coffee briefings with the members of the Committee.  

V. Accreditation

Civil society representatives wishing to attend a session and/or meet with Committee members are required to be duly accredited. For this purpose, civil society representatives are requested to register online at CSO-Net and follow the instructions contained therein. The details for accreditation will be reflected in an NGO information note that will be available on the Committee’s website under the relevant session. Civil society stakeholders wishing to hold a video-conference should submit their request to ced@ohchr.org, at least one month prior to the beginning of the session.

Please note that OHCHR will not send letters of invitations to NGOs or other civil society representatives to attend CED sessions and that it is unable to assist with travel or accommodation costs relating to their participation as well as with visas to enter Switzerland.

VI. Additional Competences of the Committee

The Convention gives the Committee additional competences, namely:

  1. To receive and consider urgent requests that a disappeared person should be sought and found as provided for in article 30 of the Convention. The guidance and model form for the request for urgent action by the Committee on Enforced Disappearances is available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CED/Pages/CEDIndex.aspx (under the section urgent actions). All requests should be sent to: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
  2. To receive and consider individual communications from or on behalf of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation by a State Party of provisions under the Convention. Communications are only received when they concern a State Party that has accepted the competence of the Committee under article 31 of the Convention. The guidance and model form for submission of communications to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances is available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CED/Pages/CEDIndex.aspx (under the section Petitions). All individual complaints should be sent to: TB-petitions@ohchr.org, ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
  3. To conduct country visits to a State Party when it receives reliable information indicating that a State Party is seriously violating the provisions of the Convention as provided for in article 33 of Convention. All relevant information should be sent to: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
  4. To urgently address the General Assembly when it receives information which appears to contain well-founded indications that enforced disappearance is being practised on a widespread or systematic basis in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State Party as provided for in article 34 of the Convention. All relevant information should be sent to: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org

VII. Additional Information

What is a UN human rights treaty body? - http://goo.gl/5qmti

For more detailed information on the work of United Nations human rights treaty bodies read the chapter in the Handbook for Civil Society - http://goo.gl/fc3bI 

Contact information:
Secretariat of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Tel. +41.22.917.90.00
Fax. +41.22.917.90.08
E-mail: ced@ohchr.org
Mailing address : UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Visiting address: Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis, CH-1201, Geneva, Switzerland

E-mail addresses:
For the submission of information / reports: ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
For requests of urgent actions:  ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
For individual complaints: TB-petitions@ohchr.org, ced@ohchr.org and registry@ohchr.org
For accreditation to the sessions: register online at CSO-Net and follow the instructions contained therein (the link will appear in an NGO information note that will be available on the Committee’s website under the relevant session).

Country-specific information