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Enforced disappearances: UN Committee welcomes Mexico’s decision on individual complaints

GENEVA (4 September 2020) – The unanimous decision by the Mexican Senate to recognize the competence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to examine individual complaints is a significant step in the country’s human rights development, the Committee said in a statement on Friday.

“The crime of enforced disappearance is a particularly heinous violation of human rights that leads to suffering and anguish for the disappeared persons and their relatives,” the Committee said.

“We congratulate Mexico for further supporting and empowering the relatives of victims and those helping them in their daily struggle for truth and justice by accepting the competence of the Committee to examine individual complaints,” the statement added.

The Senate’s decision follows years of demands by families of disappeared persons and the cumulative efforts of the Committee, the UN Human Rights Office and other human rights organizations. According to Mexico’s National Commission for the Search for Disappeared Persons, at the end of 2019, some 61,637 had disappeared in the country.

The Senate’s declaration will take effect once it is submitted to the UN Secretary-General. The Committee will then be able to receive and examine individual complaints under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

The individual complaints mechanism opens up an important platform for the Committee to communicate with the State parties on the actions they have to take to prevent enforced disappearances, search for the disappeared, and to promote their rights as well as those of their families once they have exhausted all domestic channels.

Mexico ratified the Convention in 2008. Its initial report was examined by the Committee in 2015, followed by the examination of additional information in 2018.

Full statement of the Committee is available online.

ENDS

For media inquiries, please contact Vivian Kwok at +41 (0) 22 917 9362 / vkwok@ohchr.org or the UN Human Rights Office Media Section at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / media@ohchr.org 

Background
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances monitors States parties’ adherence to the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Committee is made up of 10 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. The Committee’s concluding observations are an independent assessment of States’ compliance with their human rights obligations under the treaty. 

Learn more with our animations on the Treaty Body system and on the Committee on Enforced Disappearances!

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