Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and enforced disappearances, represent serious violations of human rights, notably the right to life, liberty and security of person protected under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These acts are often committed by agents of repressive states.
Enforced disappearance is a crime which, if practiced in a ‘widespread’ or ‘systematic’ manner, may amount to a crime against humanity. It affects all regions of the world and amounts to a violation of a range of human rights: of the disappeared persons, of their relatives, and also of the wider community.
UN Human Rights supports and facilitates the work of human rights mechanisms – namely the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – in their preparation of reports, guidelines and investigations relating to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and enforced disappearances.
The killing of Mr. Jamal Kashoggi
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions undertook an inquiry into the killing of the Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.
The Minnesota Protocol
An updated version of the UN Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, also known as the Minnesota Protocol, was published in 2017.
COVID-19 and Enforced Disappearances [PDF]
These key guidelines were jointly developed by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert who examines executions in all circumstances and for whatever reason, and submits findings on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. This mandate covers all countries, whether or not a State has ratified relevant international Conventions.
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
The Working Group assists families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. In that humanitarian capacity, the Working Group serves as a channel of communication between family members of victims of enforced disappearance and other sources reporting cases of disappearances, and the Governments concerned.
Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED)
The CED is the body of independent experts monitoring the implementation of the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearance by the States parties. The CED supports victims, civil society organizations, National Human Rights Institutions and States to search for and locate disappeared persons, eradicate, punish and prevent this crime, and repair the damage suffered by victims.
News and statements
22 Sep 2023
Lao PDR: UN expert calls out alarming pattern of violations against human rights defenders
21 Sep 2023
Committee on Enforced Disappearances Marks First Anniversary of the Joint Statement on Illegal Intercountry Adoptions
19 Sep 2023
Human Rights Council Hears that There Is Still a Long Way Ahead in the Fight Against Enforced Disappearances and that Certain Climate Mitigation Technologies Are Emerging that Could Exacerbate Toxic Pollution
OHCHR Training Guide on Reporting under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
Reporting under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: Training Guide (Part II – Training package)
Brochure: 10th anniversary of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
WGEID and CED – Key Guidelines on COVID-19 and Enforced Disappearances
11 September 2023
A/HRC/54/22/Add.5: New technologies and enforced disappearances - Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
09 August 2023
A/HRC/54/22/add.2: Visit to Honduras - Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
08 August 2023
A/HRC/54/22: Enforced or involuntary disappearance - Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
02 July 2023
A/HRC/54/22/add.1: Visit to Uruguay - Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
01 June 2023