World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


United Nations: A new step towards justice

United Nations: A new step towards justice

Relatives of the "disappeared" have renewed hope that other families will not have to endure their suffering, Amnesty International said as a UN working group is meeting in Geneva between 12 and 23 January to draft a new treaty on enforced disappearance, the UN term for "disappearances".

As currently discussed, the draft treaty would include measures for preventing enforced disappearance, bringing perpetrators to justice and affording reparation to victims. Also under discussion is the creation of an urgent international humanitarian procedure for locating the "disappeared".

According to the UN, 41,636 people remain "disappeared" around the world, but the true figure is certainly much higher, with new cases recorded in dozens of countries each year. *

In most cases, the victims were arrested or abducted by state agents, often tortured or killed, but governments deny holding them.

"An effective treaty would be a significant step to ending disappearances around the world" said Amnesty International.

Background information

The working group meeting in Geneva was created in 2001 by the UN Commission of Human Rights and entrusted with preparing a "draft legally binding normative instrument for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance", for eventual adoption by the UN General Assembly.

The working group made good progress at its first formal meeting in January 2003 and at an informal session in September 2003. In the context of the meeting starting today Amnesty International is calling for the speedy adoption of a treaty giving strong protection against enforced disappearance.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>