Over 270 human rights organizations worldwide express support for UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Organizations from 27 countries sent a statement of support for the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and urged that its mandate be renewed.

More than 270 human rights organizations from 27 countries sent a statement in support of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to state delegations, urging them to renew the committee’s mandate at a meeting on December 19.

The international community has long committed itself to preventing these rights violations. Despite valuable efforts to this end, thousands of people are still forcibly disappeared today in every region of the world and their families continue to demand truth and justice. This is a central issue in the history of countries such as Argentina, which suffered the systematic practice of enforced disappearance of persons in dictatorship, but persists as a problem today in the region – above all in Mexico, where tens of thousands of disappearances have taken place.

In December 2010 the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance entered into force, and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances is the body in charge of supervising it. The committee’s mechanism of urgent actions has enabled it to respond to a significant number of these cases, which are inherently time-sensitive.

Since its creation, the committee has reviewed several hundred urgent actions and granted dozens of precautionary measures, and in numerous cases it has requested that states protect mass graves and evidence.

Preventing enforced disappearances and ensuring truth, justice and reparation in these cases have been, and must remain, a core objective of international human rights law and its protection mechanisms. The committee has valuable and specialized experience in this area, and its mandate must be consolidated when the State Parties to the Convention meet next Monday.