Header image for news printout

Committee on Enforced Disappearances to hold third session from 29 October to 9 November 2012

Committee on Enforced Disappearances 


24 October 2012

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Committee responsible for reviewing how States implement the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, will hold its third session from 29 October to 9 November 2012 at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva.

At the opening of the session on 29 October, the Committee will meet in public from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to hear a statement from a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, followed by an exchange of views; it will also adopt its agenda.  The Committee will hold a minute of silence in remembrance of victims of enforced disappearances.  It will participate in a public commemorative event on the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Disappearances on Tuesday, 30 October at 10 a.m.  It is scheduled to meet in public with States, then with non-governmental organizations and finally with national human rights institutions on Monday, 5 November from 10 a.m.  It will also discuss methodology of engagement with non-governmental organizations on Tuesday, 6 November.  The Committee will also meet in public from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, 9 November before it closes its session. 

The Committee will meet behind closed doors for the rest of the session to discuss methods of work, a strategy to encourage States to ratify the Convention, and other matters.  It will also hold two thematic discussions, on human trafficking and enforced disappearances and the principles of non-refoulement, expulsion, and extradition under article 16 of the Convention; and a day of general discussion on the responsibility of States and the role of non-State actors.  The Committee will hold its annual joint meeting with the Working Group on enforced and involuntary disappearances to ensure a strong and effective cooperation among the two mechanisms with the aim of avoiding overlaps and achieving the common goal of the eradication of the practice of enforced disappearances and ensure the right to the truth justice and reparation to the victims.

Further information on the Committee and the session can be found at this link.

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances is the monitory body which oversees the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which entered into force on 23 December 2010.  To date, 36 States parties have ratified it.  They are: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Tunisia, Uruguay and Zambia.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance states that no one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.  No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.  The Convention contains a universally agreed definition of enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law”.  The main goals of the Convention are to hold States responsible for the protection of persons from enforced disappearances by defeating impunity, to prevent new cases of enforced disappearances and to guarantee the right to the truth and to obtain reparation of both the disappeared and their families.

The members of the Committee are Mohammed Al-Obaidi (Iraq), Mamadou Badio Camara (Senegal), Emmanuel Decaux (France), Alvaro Garcé Garcia Y Santos (Uruguay), Luciano Hazan (Argentina), Rainer Huhle (Germany), Suela Janina (Albania), Juan José Lopez Ortega (Spain), Enoch Mulembe (Zambia) and Kimio Yakushiji (Japan).

Timetable for Third Session

Monday, 29 October

10 a.m.         Opening of Session; Statement from High Commissioner Navi Pillay or
                   her representative, exchange of views, adoption of agenda

11 a.m.         (closed meeting)

Tuesday, 30 October

10 a.m.         Public commemorative event organized by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

3 p.m.          (closed meeting)

Monday, 5 November

10 a.m.         Meeting with States

11 a.m.         Meeting with UN bodies, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and national human rights institutions

12 a.m.         Meeting with non-governmental organizations

Tuesday, 6 November

12 a.m.         Meeting with non-governmental organizations to discuss methodology of engagement

Friday, 9 November

4 p.m.          Closing of the session.


      For use of the information media; not an official record