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Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances concludes review of 532 cases from 25 countries

Geneva, 19 May 2020

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) concluded the review of 532 cases, from 25 countries, during a series of meetings held by videoconference, between 11 and 15 May 2020.

During the meetings, the Working Group examined 18 reported cases of enforced disappearances it had transmitted under its urgent action procedure since February 2020, concerning Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

It also reviewed 514 cases, including newly reported cases outside the urgent action procedure and updated information on previously transmitted cases concerning Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, China, Colombia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

In the spirit of its humanitarian mandate, the Working Group continued to discuss disappearances perpetrated by non-state actors and took steps to document these cases.

The Working Group also reviewed responses from various Governments to prompt intervention letters, general allegations and urgent appeals. It also adopted new general allegations and discussed its future and potential country visits.
The Working Group will hold its next session in September 2020.

ENDS

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Luciano Hazan (Argentina) and the Vice-Chair is Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Republic of Korea); other members are Ms. Houria Es-Slami (Morocco), Mr. Bernard Duhaime (Canada) and Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius (Lithuania).

The Working Group was established by the 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. It continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved. The Working Group also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

More information on the Working Group

See how to submit cases to the Working Group in this new animated video.

Read the Working Group’s 2019 report to the UN Human Rights Council and post-sessional documents

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Gabriela Guzman (+41 (0)22 928 9452, gguzman@ohchr.org or wgeid@ohchr.org)