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Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Mandate


By resolution 20 (XXXVI) of 29 February 1980, the Commission on Human Rights decided to "establish for a period of one year a working group consisting of five of its members, to serve as experts in their individual capacities, to examine questions relevant to enforced or involuntary disappearances of persons". 

The last resolution renewing the mandate of the Working Group, A/HRC/RES/27/1, was adopted by the Human Rights Council in September 2014.

One of the Working Group's primary task is to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. In that humanitarian capacity, the Working Group serves as a channel of communication between family members of victims of enforced disappearance and other sources reporting cases of disappearances, and the Governments concerned. For this purpose the Group receives, examines and transmits to Governments reports of enforced disappearances submitted by relatives of disappeared persons or human rights organizations acting on their behalf. The Working Group request Governments to carry out investigations and to inform the Working Group of the results. The Working Group follows up those requests of information on a periodic basis. Those cases remain open in the Working Group’s database until the fate or whereabouts of the person is determined.  

With the adoption by the General Assembly in 1992 of the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, the Working Group was also entrusted with monitoring the progress of States in fulfilling their obligations deriving from the Declaration and to provide to Governments assistance in its implementation. The Working Group draws the attention of Governments and non-governmental organizations to different aspects of the Declaration and recommends ways of overcoming obstacles to the realization of its provisions. In this capacity, the Working Group has a preventive role, by assisting States in overcoming obstacles to the realization of the Declaration. This is done both while carrying out country visits and by providing advisory services, when requested.

On 23 December 2010, the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances entered into force and with it the Committee on Enforced Disappearances was established. Like for a number of other thematic human rights issues, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances coexist side by side and seek to collaborate and coordinate their activities with a view to strengthen the joint efforts to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances.

An enforced disappearance is defined by three cumulative elements:

(1) Deprivation of liberty against the will of the person;
(2) Involvement of government officials, at least by acquiescence;
(3) Refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person.

Latest reports - 2014

A/HRC/27/49

Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

A C E F R S

A/HRC/27/49/Add.1

Addendum - Mission to Spain

A C E F R S

A/HRC/27/49/Add.2

Addendum - Follow-up to country missions (Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina)

E

More reports of the Working Group

Latest country visits

Visit of the Working Group to the Western Balkans - See press release

See more country visits reports

Latest News:


More press releases... 
 

Events

100th session event - New York, 15 July 2013

100th session: 15-19 July 2013, New York

Commemorative Event - 20th year of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, 30 - 31 October 2012

30th Anniversary commemorative event, 5 November 2010
 

Latest Videos

30 August - 3rd International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

More videos...

Members

Mr. Ariel Dulitzky
(Argentina), Chair-Rapporteur,
appointed in 2010
Mr. Olivier de Frouville
(France), appointed in 2008
Ms Houria Es-Slami
(Morocco),
appointed in 2014
Mr. Osman El Hajjé
(Lebanon),
appointed in 2009
Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur
(Bosnia and Herzegovina),
appointed in 2010

Publications

Fact Sheet no. 6 Rev.3 - Working Group on Enforced or Involutary Disappearances

Fact Sheet No.6 Rev.3 - Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary disappearancesAvailable in:
ArabicChineseEnglish | French l Spanish l Russian


Contact us

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances c/o OHCHR-UNOG CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland
Téléphone: (41-22) 917 90 00 Fax: (+41-22) 917 90 06
E-mail: wgeid@ohchr.org