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UN chief urges member states to ratify convention on enforced disappearance

ECONOMYNEXT – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all member states to ratify or accede to the UN convention on enforced disappearance aimed at preventing forced disappearances.

“It is time for an end to all enforced disappearances,” he said in a statement on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED) which Sri Lanka is yet to ratify.

“Far from being a practice employed only in the past by military dictatorships, enforced disappearance continues to be used by some States,” he said.

“In the past year alone, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance — – the two United Nations mechanisms on enforced disappearance, composed of independent experts — received 246 requests by family members across the world to take urgent action.”

The Convention entered into force in 2010, has been signed by 93 States and ratified by 50.

It provides a sound foundation for fighting impunity, protecting disappeared persons and their families and strengthening the guarantees provided by the rule of law — including investigation, prosecution, justice and reparation.

As of 2014, a total of 43,250 cases from 88 countries were under active consideration by the UN.

Asia has the highest number of cases reported to the UN with at least 8,000 in Kashmir and 5,676 in Sri Lanka.

Only four countries in Asia — Japan, Kazakhstan, Iraq, and Cambodia — have so far ratified the convention.

Ban Ki-moon said in recent years there has also been an alarming number of acts by non-state actors, including armed extremist and terrorist groups, that are tantamount to enforced disappearances and that are also gross abuses of human rights.  (Colombo/August 28 2015)
 

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