International Convention for the protection of all persons fromenforced disappearance

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The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is a human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2006. The convention is aimed at preventing enforced disappearances, uncovering the truth about such acts, and providing justice and reparations to the victims.

Enforced disappearance refers to the arrest, detention, or abduction of individuals by state authorities or organized groups, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or the whereabouts of the person, thus placing them outside the protection of the law. Enforced disappearances are considered a grave violation of human rights and are often associated with various human rights abuses, including torture, extrajudicial killings, and secret detention.

The key provisions of the Convention include:

  1. Definition and criminalization: The convention defines enforced disappearance as a criminal offense and requires states to establish it as a punishable offense under their domestic laws.
  2. Prevention and protection: States are obliged to take measures to prevent enforced disappearances, including the protection of individuals against such acts and the investigation of complaints.
  3. Investigation and prosecution: States are required to conduct prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into all allegations of enforced disappearance. Those responsible for the offense should be brought to justice and subjected to appropriate penalties.
  4. Victim and witness protection: The convention emphasizes the need to protect victims and witnesses, ensuring their safety and providing them with appropriate support and compensation.
  5. Non-refoulement: States are prohibited from extraditing, deporting, or returning individuals to countries where they may be at risk of enforced disappearance.
  6. Truth and reparation: The convention recognizes the right of victims’ families and society as a whole to know the truth about enforced disappearances. It also emphasizes the importance of providing reparations to victims, including restitution, compensation, and rehabilitation.
  7. International cooperation: The convention encourages states to cooperate with each other in preventing and eradicating enforced disappearances, including sharing information and providing mutual legal assistance.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the convention has been ratified by 62 countries. However, it is always advisable to refer to the latest information available from the United Nations or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date status and information regarding the convention.

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