GENEVA (1st June 2016) - A group of human rights experts of the United Nations* welcomed the decision by the Congress of the Republic of Peru to approve the draft Law on the Search of Disappeared Persons, which will cover the period of the internal armed conflict between 1980 and 2000.
“This is a major step towards the realization of the right of all victims to know the truth about the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones,” the experts said, while highlighting the humanitarian spirit of the new law.
The bill, submitted to the legislature by the Ombudsperson Institution, confers on the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, and on the Public Ministry, a central and leading role in the search for missing persons. Also, it establishes the creation of a National Registry of Disappeared Persons.
“We call on the Peruvian State to continue taking decisive steps, mainly through the immediate publication and enactment of the new Law on the Search of Disappeared Persons and the drafting of the related secondary norms,” the experts added. They also stressed the importance of ensuring the necessary and sufficient budget allocation for the law to be properly implemented by all the institutions involved.
The experts drew attention to the recent sentence issued by the Fifth Specialized Constitutional Court of Lima, whereby the multiple violations of the victims of the internal armed conflict were recognized. In that regard, they called on the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to immediately address and implement the decision of the court, considering the age and situation of the relatives, and to reconsider the grounds for its appeal to this judgment, in light of the international obligations of the Peruvian State and the recommendations by human rights mechanisms.
Finally, the experts sent a message of recognition, solidarity and encouragement to the victims and families of persons who disappeared during the internal armed conflict in Peru, and reiterated its support for the Peruvian government in its efforts to clarify cases of enforced disappearance occurred during this period.
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, which officially visited Peru in June 2015, will submit a report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016, with its observations and recommendations on the situation in the country.
(*) The experts: Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world: the Chair-Rapporteur, Ms. Houria Es-Slami (Morocco); the Vice-Chair, Mr. Bernard Duhaime (Canada); Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Republic of Korea), Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina) and Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius (Lithuania).
The United Nations human rights experts are part of what it is known as ‘Special Procedures’, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system. ‘Special Procedures’ is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx
UN Human Rights, country page – Peru: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/PEIndex.aspx
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