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10 March 2008

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances plans to review 799 cases of enforced disappearances as well as recently submitted information on previously accepted cases from 28 countries during the first of three annual sessions from 10 to 14 March 2008.

During its 84th session, which will take place at the premises of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, the Working Group will hold meetings with non-governmental organizations and with Government delegations to exchange views on individual cases under consideration and on the phenomenon of enforced disappearances.

The Working Group will also render its 2007 annual report at the seventh session of the Human Rights Council, and will participate in the review, rationalization and improvement of its mandate.

The Working Group was created by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. The Working Group 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 is clearly established. The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved.

The Working Group is made up of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chairman-Rapporteur is Santiago Corcuera, and the other Expert-Members are J. Bayo Adekanye, Darko Gottlicher, Saied Rajaie Khorasani and Stephen J. Toope.

For more information on the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, please refer to the website: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/disappear/index.htm


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