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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.

Our work

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.

Who else

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.

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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.

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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.

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