ICJ, FIDH and HRW call on member states to adopt draft convention on enforced disappearance at the 62nd Commission on Human Rights

The ICJ and the two other human rights groups also called for the draft convention to be transmitted to the UN General Assembly for its final adoption.

The organizations fear that the Commission, for reasons of transitional arrangements, would postpone the adoption of the text to hand it to the Council. Yet, the organizations believe that further delaying its adoption would jeopardize it.

“Postponing the adoption of such an important text for procedural reasons would be an act of betrayal for the families of victims that have been working for the adoption of the text for many years: building protection for the families of victims cannot be held hostage to transitional arrangements” said the three NGO representatives, “The Commission has a historical opportunity to adopt the Draft Convention and it should not let it pass”.

“The Convention fills a huge gap in international law: the absence at the universal level of a treaty addressing the multiple human rights violations and the international crime that is enforced disappearance” they added.

This text, adopted by consensus on 23 September 2005 by the intersessional Working Group established by the Commission, is the result of several years of work of the Working Group. The consensus was reached thanks to the constructive spirit of all delegations. The Draft Convention is now before the Commission for its adoption.

Since 1980, when the first ever independent inquiry mechanism of the Commission on Human Rights, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances was established, the Commission has made tireless efforts to face this hideous practice of enforced disappearance. In 1992, the Commission adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. In 2006, as this work is nearing its end, it would be incomprehensible if the Commission did not renew its commitment against enforced disappearance and did not adopt the Draft International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.