20 December 2006
The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances issued the following statement today:
The Working Group welcomes the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by the General Assembly. The Convention will now be open for signature, ratification and accession.
The Convention represents significant progress in international law for the protection of persons from enforced disappearance, in particular by recognizing the right of persons not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, and the right of victims to justice and reparation.
The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist the relatives of disappeared persons in ascertaining their fate and whereabouts and to act as a channel for communication between the families and governments concerned. The Working Group is composed of five independent experts: Santiago Corcuera (Chairperson-Rapporteur), J. 'Bayo Adekanye, Darko Göttlicher, Saied Rajaie Khorasani, and Stephen J. Toope. The Working Group will continue to serve as a channel for the clarification of cases of enforced disappearance in all States.