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How to engage with the Working Group

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Guidelines for civil society, victims, and national human rights institutions

Information for civil society, NGOs and NHRIs

Victims, civil society actors, and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) play a key role in assisting the Working Group to effectively discharge its mandate, through its procedures.

Contributions from civil society organisations, victims and NHRIs can assist the work of the Working Group in different ways. In particular:

  1. Reporting a case of enforced disappearance.
  2. Submitting a general allegation on obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
  3. Submitting information in view of a country visit of the Working Group or seeking a meeting during the visit.
  4. Participating in the sessions of the Working Group.

Moreover, the Working Group may issue specific calls for inputs from civil society organisations, victims, NHRIs in view of forthcoming thematic studies, reports or general comments. These calls for inputs are regularly posted on the website.

Victims, civil society organisations and NGOs do not need an ECOSOC consultative status to take part to the work of the Working Group.

Participating in the sessions of the Working Group

Sessions of the Working Group are held in private.

Victims, civil society organisations, NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions can request a meeting with the Working Group during the session.

The meeting (lasting approximately 1 hour), can be held in person (usually in Geneva) or online.

Due to the limited available time, meetings shall be requested in advance (in principle, at least 1 month prior to the beginning of the session). Meetings are conducted in English, Spanish or French. Upon request, interpretation can be arranged for Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

Occasionally, online inter-sessional meetings with members of the Working Group can be arranged. In this case, interpretation is not provided.

If you wish to participate (in-person or online) to the session of the Working Group, please contact the Secretariat through email at [email protected], at least one month prior to the beginning of the session.

Accreditation and registration for the sessions

Once a request for a meeting – in person or online – with the Working Group is agreed upon, victims, civil society organizations, other civil society actors, and National Human Rights Institutions will receive instructions from the Secretariat on how to register.

Please note that the United Nations or the Working Group do not send letters of invitation and cannot assist with visa requests, travel or accommodation related to the participation of victims and other civil society actors or National Human Rights Institutions in the sessions.