GENEVA (3 February 2014) – The United Nations Working Group* on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is reviewing almost 500 cases of enforced disappearance from 32 countries in its first session of 2014. The confidential cases include urgent ones that have just been reported and updated information on cases previously accepted.
From 3 to 7 February, the five-strong expert group will meet in Geneva with State delegations, relatives of those who have disappeared and civil society representatives to exchange information on these individual cases, as well as to discuss the phenomenon of enforced disappearances.
The Working Group will, in addition, examine allegations received regarding obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The Working Group’s 102nd session is held in private. A press release will be issued at the end of the session, on 7 February 2014.
(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina) and the Vice-Chair is Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon); other members are Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa).
The Working Group was established by the then 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 its 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 UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. For more information, 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/how_to_use_the_WGEID.pdf
Read the Working Group’s 2012 report to the UN Human Rights Council: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A.HRC.22.45_English.pdf
Read the Working Group’s post-sessional documents for 2013: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disappearances/Pages/Annual.aspx