UN Draft Convention Regarding Forced Disappearances

January 28, 2004 | Comments Off on UN Draft Convention Regarding Forced Disappearances

Last week marked the conclusion of the second meeting of the UN Commission of Human Rights’ Inter-sessional open-ended working group to elaborate a draft legally binding normative instrument for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.

The group considered the Draft International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1998/19, Annex).  The International Movement Against All Forms of Racism and Discrimination has prepared a short report detailing the history of the draft convention, as well as a summary of the first session of the Working Group.

Numerous states sent representatives to the first meeting last year, including India.  India, however, bears responsibility for perpetration of forced disappearances, such as in Punjab and Kashmir.

The Draft International Convention describes the systematic practice of forced disappearance as a crime against humanity and contains several principles, such as requirements to investigate immediately complaints of forced disappearance and to protect witnesses from intimidation, which have not been adhered to in Punjab and Kashmir.

Read more on the failure of judicial remedies to address disappearances in Punjab and the recent report on the issue of forced disappearances leading to illegal cremations in Punjab, as well as recent news on the related case proceeding before the National Human Rights Commission.  Victims in Punjab have recently joined together to form the Association of Families of the Disappeared in Punjab (AFDP).

In 1992, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (A/RES/47/133), which, however, is not legally binding.


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