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Access to reparation mechanisms

Victim support


El Salvador provides collective reparations to victims of the 1981 El Mozote massacre

After his country visit to El Salvador from 24 April to 3 May 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence underscored his alarm with the Government concerning the glorification of Colonel Monterrosa, who was identified by the Truth Commission as being responsible for the El Mozote massacre in December 1981. In particular, noting the harm and revictimization that this creates for the victims and recalling a long-overdue demand by the victims, the Special Rapporteur requested that the Government immediately remove the names of the military personnel accused of serious human rights violations, including Colonel Monterrosa, from the battalions and barracks, facilities and monuments of the armed forces, and prohibit commemorations and official honors in their name. In discussions with the Vice-President Elect before the end of the country visit, the Special Rapporteur received a positive response to this request. On 1 June 2019, the Government removed Colonel Monterrosa's name from the Third Infantry Brigade of San Miguel building, and photos of this historic and highly symbolic event were widely circulated on social media.

Other Impact: Victim Support,Policy Reform and Raising Human Rights Awareness

Indigenous peoples' land claim in Paraguay becomes legally recognized

During the country visit to Paraguay from 21 to 28 November 2014 (A/HRC/30/41/Add.1), the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples addressed the situation of the Cheiro Ara Poty community of the Mbyá Guaraní people, who submitted a land claim in 1981 that was approved by the National Assembly in 1989. Despite their claim, an order for the expropriation of the lands in question was issued in favour of the Sommerfeld Komitee company. Following a series of claims and appeals before the courts, the National Institute for Indigenous Affairs (INDI) and the Mbya' Guarani people won the case. The Sommerfeld Komitee company, however, did not accept the funds deposited by INDI to pay for the land. In her country visit report, the Special Rapporteur recommended, among other things, that the Government "take all necessary measures to finally give effect to the conveyance of the lands awarded to the Mbyá Guaraní community of Cheiro Ara Poty."On 15 December 2015, the Special Rapporteur was informed that the Sommerfeld Komitee company finally withdrew the money deposited by the Government in the bank, which meant that the indigenous ownership by the Mbyá Guarani of Cheiro Ara Poty is now legally recognized. The Special Rapporteur released a public statement congratulating the Government of Paraguay for this historic achievement.

Other Impact: Contribution to Governmental and/or Judicial Processes and Prevention and/or Cessation of Human Rights Violations


Advocating protection against domestic violence during COVID 19

The Special Rapporteur on violence against women issued a statement, endorsed by a number of other relevant mandates, calling on States to ensure that the extraordinary circumstances and restrictive measures against COVID-19 do not lead to the violation of women's right to a life free from violence. Following the lockdown measures of isolation imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of abuse and domestic violence have been increasing as already suggested by initial police and hotline reports, and for too many women and children, home can be a place of fear and abuse.

Following the call, States have been implementing appropriate measures to respond to the situation. For e.g. the Portuguese Government sent a letter to the Chair of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures outlining measures the country is taking to prevent domestic violence and to ensure the safety and support to victims of domestic violence during the confinement to contain the COVID-19.

Other impact:  Prevention and/ or cessation of human rights violations

Bosnia shuts down controversial camp

Following the continued and close engagement of the Special Rapporteur on migrants, including through advocacy during and after his country visit in September 2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina closed Vucjak camp in December 2019, a site that hosted almost 1000 migrants, including asylum seekers and minors.

Other impact:  Mechanisms of redress/Accountability

Effective cooperation of Turkey and Ireland in safe return of Irish national

Following communications to Ireland and Turkey by several special procedures mandate holders regarding Ms Lisa Smith, an Irish national, and her infant daughter, who had been held in the Ain Issa displacement camp in northeast Syria; the Governments took prompt action to ensure their safe return to Ireland.  The mandate holders commended the prompt engagement of both Governments with the Special Procedures. Acknowledging the broader context of ongoing insecurity and human rights infringements for women and child returnees, the experts encouraged States to work as effectively, intensively and cooperatively as in this case, to ensure the full enforcement of applicable human rights and humanitarian norms. They also encouraged States to recognize that women and children associated with ISIS may have been subjected to serious human rights violations and gender-based violence during and prior to their detention in camps such as Ain Issa.

Other impact:  Prevention and/ or cessation of human rights violations

Multi-Ethnic Resource Centre on Missing Persons established in Kosovo*

In accordance with the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances recommendation contained in its report to the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in 2015 (A/HRC/30/38/Add.1) that greater support should be provided to families and associations of families of victims of enforced disappearance, the Human Rights Component of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) supported the establishment of the Multi-Ethnic Resource Centre on Missing Persons in Kosovo* for the families of victims from all communities in 2017. The Resource Centre has in turn become an indispensable stakeholder in the process of clarifying the fate of missing persons, having steadfastly advocated for the families' right to the complete and full truth, justice, and commensurate reparation.

Other Impact: Access to Reparation Mechanisms and Prevention and/or Cessation of Human Rights Violations

* All references to Kosovo in the present webpage should be understood to be in compliance with Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).