International Convention for the protection of all persons fromenforced disappearance

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is an international human rights treaty that aims to prevent enforced disappearances, protect victims, and bring perpetrators to justice. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2006, and entered into force on December 23, 2010. Enforced disappearance refers to the arrest, detention, abduction, or any other form of deprivation of liberty by state officials or organized groups acting with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or the whereabouts of the person, thereby placing them outside the protection of the law. This convention addresses a particularly grave violation of human rights and has provisions for the protection and rights of victims and their families. The key provisions of the convention include: 1. Definition and criminalization: The convention defines enforced disappearance as a crime and requires states to establish it as a criminal offense under their domestic laws. It also prohibits secret detention and establishes that no exceptional circumstances, such as a state of war or emergency, can justify enforced disappearances. 2. Prevention and protection: States parties are obligated to take effective measures to prevent enforced disappearances, investigate such cases, and protect individuals from this violation. They should establish safeguards against torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and establish national mechanisms to prevent disappearances. 3. Victims’ rights: The convention recognizes the rights of victims and their families, including the right to know the truth about the circumstances of the enforced disappearance, the fate of the disappeared person, and the progress and results of the investigation. It also guarantees reparations, including compensation, rehabilitation, and the right to an effective remedy. 4. Jurisdiction and extradition: The convention ensures that states exercise jurisdiction over the crime of enforced disappearance when it is committed within their territory or by their nationals. It also provides for the obligation to extradite or prosecute alleged perpetrators who are present in their territory. 5. International cooperation: States parties are encouraged to cooperate with each other in preventing and combating enforced disappearances. They are required to exchange information, provide mutual legal assistance, and assist in the search for disappeared persons. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, 64 countries have ratified or acceded to the convention. However, the status may have changed since then, so it is advisable to consult updated sources for the most recent information.

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