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Committee on Enforced Disappearances to hold sixth session from 17 to 28 March 2014

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

13 March 2014

Committee to Consider Reports of Germany and the Netherlands
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 sixth session from 17 to 28 March 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
At the opening of the session on 17 March, the Committee will meet in public at 10 a.m. to hear a statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or her representative, followed by an exchange of views, a minute of silence in remembrance of victims of enforced disappearances, and adoption of the agenda.  During this meeting, the Committee will consider any communication, request for urgent action and information it has received in relation to articles 30–34 of the Convention.  The Committee will also discuss methods of work with regard to its activities under articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Convention; interaction with relevant stakeholders; and the strategy to encourage States to ratify the Convention.
The Committee will consider the initial report of Germany (CED/C/DEU/1) on Monday, 17 March 2014, at 3 p.m. and on Tuesday, 18 March 2014, at 10 a.m.  The initial report of the Netherlands (CED/C/NLD/1) will be examined on Tuesday, 18 March 2014, at 3 p.m. and on Wednesday, 19 March 2014, at 10 a.m.
The Committee will hold a public discussion on the topic of “enforced disappearances and military justice”, the theme considered to be of relevance to the Committee’s work and which may be the subject of a future general comment.
The Committee will also review communications, information and requests regarding alleged violations of the Convention.  The Committee will examine and adopt lists of issues on the reports submitted by Belgium and Paraguay, which will be considered in future sessions.
During the session, the Committee will also meet with States, relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions, and non-governmental organizations on matters related to the implementation of the Convention.  In addition, the Committee will discuss issues related to the treaty body strengthening process, including harmonization.
Further information on the Committee and its sixth session can be found here.
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, 42 States have ratified or acceded to the Convention: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Lithuania, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Tunisia, Uruguay and Zambia.
The Convention 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), Santiago Corcuera Cabezut (Mexico), Emmanuel Decaux (France), Alvaro Garcé Garcia y Santos (Uruguay), Luciano Hazan (Argentina), Rainer Huhle (Germany), Suela Janina (Albania), Juan José Lopez Ortega (Spain), and Kimio Yakushiji (Japan).
Provisional Timetable of Public Meetings
Monday, 17 March

10 a.m.    Opening of session, statement from High Commissioner of Human Rights or her representative, statement
                 by the Chairperson of the Committee, election of officers, adoption of the agenda
3 p.m.      Consideration of the report of Germany (CED/C/DEU/1)
Tuesday, 18 March
10 a.m.      Consideration of the report of Germany (continued)
3 p.m.        Consideration of the report of the Netherlands (CED/C/NLD/1)
Wednesday, 19 March
10 a.m.        Consideration of the report of the Netherlands (continued)
Thursday, 20 March

3 p.m.             Meeting with States parties, UN bodies, specialized agencies and
         Intergovernmental Organizations, meeting with NGO and civil society
Friday, 28 March
3 p.m.            Public closing

For use of the information media; not an official record