GENEVA (9 August 2012) – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances* will visit Chile from 13 to 21 August 2012.
During the mission, the UN experts will examine the main initiatives and policies undertaken by Chile on issues related to enforced or involuntary disappearances in the context of the human rights violations in the past.
The experts will also analyse the development of investigations and judicial proceedings related to cases of enforced disappearances, as well as issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances.
The Working Group will visit memorial sites and meet with State officials, representatives of civil society organizations and academics as well as relatives of disappeared persons and representatives of UN agencies.
The mission will be conducted by two members of the Working Group, Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur and Mr. Ariel Dulitzky, who will be accompanied by members of the Secretariat of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
At the end of the visit, on 21 August 2012, the Working Group will hold a press conference at the Patio 29 of the General Cemetery of Santiago, at 15h00.
A final report on the mission will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.
(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France) and the other members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon), and Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa).
The Working Group was established by the UN 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 are 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 on the Working Group, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disappearances/Pages/DisappearancesIndex.aspx
How to submit cases to the Working Group?: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/issues/Disappearances/Communication_form_E.doc
For more information and media requests:
Before the mission: Michelle Erazo (+41 22 917 9449 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Before and during the mission: Jennifer Ross (+56 2 321 7750 / email@example.com )