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Committee on Enforced Disappearances registers case 500

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Committee on Enforced Disappearances registers case number 500

GENEVA (June 12, 2018) — They were having a family dinner at home when security forces entered the house, handcuffed him and took him away. When the family now asks the authorities where he is, they always get the same reply: “we do not know.”

This example is taken from one of the cases in which the Committee on Enforced Disappearances activated its Urgent Action mechanism: a process which elevates an enforced disappearance from the local, individual level up to a matter between a UN committee of human rights experts, and the highest authorities of the country where the disappearance occurred. This week, the Committee reached the grim milestone of 500 cases registered under this procedure.

“Each Urgent action represents a disappeared person whose family, relatives and friends are suffering every minute of their life by having no idea as to that person’s fate and whereabouts,” said Suela Janina, Chair of the Committee.

For a list of the registered Urgent Actions up to 13 June 2018, please click here.

The number of Urgent Actions has been increasing steadily since the Convention entered into force in 2010.On a practical level, when the Committee receives information about an enforced disappearance, it contacts the country concerned and the relatives of the victim or their representatives, Ms. Janina continued.

“When a person is reported to have fallen victim to enforced disappearance, immediate intervention is key”, said Rainer Huhle, vice-president of the Committee.

“There is no valid justification for asking relatives of a disappeared person to wait 24, 48 or 72 hours before taking action”, he emphasized.

This procedure, commonly called “urgent action” is one of the most innovative features of the Convention on enforced disappearance. The exchanges between the Committee, the State party and the person who requested the activation of the urgent action procedure go on until the disappeared person is located. “These exchanges are at the core of the procedure. The Committee can also ask the State party to adopt measures to protect the persons who are in danger because of their link with the disappeared person, or because of the actions they have taken to search for him or her,” said Ms. Janina.

The Committee’s aim, she explained, is to help all involved, and to provide guidance to States parties for them to abide by their obligations under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Among those obligations is the demand that enforced disappearances do not happen again.

For more information on the procedure, please click here:



Members of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances are independent human rights experts who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. To find out more about the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, please visit:

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El Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada registra caso número 500

Estaban cenando en familia cuando fuerzas de seguridad entraron a su casa, lo esposaron y lo llevaron. Hoy, cuando la familia pregunta a las autoridades dónde está, siempre les dan la misma respuesta: “No sabemos”.

Este ejemplo es uno de los casos en los cuales el Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada ha activado el mecanismo de Acciones Urgentes: un proceso que eleva a una desaparición forzada desde un nivel local y personal, para convertirla en un asunto entre un Comité de expertos de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas y las más altas autoridades del país donde la desaparición ocurrió. Esta semana, el Comité ha alcanzado la triste cifra de 500 casos registrados bajo este procedimiento.

“Cada Acción Urgente representa a una persona desaparecida, cuya familia, allegados y amigos están sufriendo cada minuto de su vida por no tener idea de su suerte y paradero”, dijo Suela Janina, Presidenta del Comité.

La lista de las Acciones Urgentes registradas hasta el 13 de junio de 2018, está disponible aquí:

El número de Acciones Urgentes ha crecido continuamente desde que la Convención entró en vigor en 2010. En práctica, cuando el Comité recibe información sobre una desaparición forzada, toma contacto con el país concernido, y con los allegados de la víctima o sus representantes, agregó la Sra. Janina.

“Cuando una persona es víctima de una desaparición forzada, una intervención inmediata es clave”, dijo Rainer Huhle, vice-presidente del Comité. “No existe justificación válida alguna para pedir a los familiares de una persona desaparecida que espere 24, 48 o 72 horas antes de tomar acción”, resaltó.

Este procedimiento, comúnmente llamado “Acción Urgente” es una de las herramientas más innovadoras de la Convención para la Protección de Todas las Personas contra las desapariciones forzadas. Los intercambios entre el Comité, el Estado parte y la persona que pidió la acción urgente siguen hasta cuando la persona desaparecida haya sido localizada. Estos intercambios son al corazón del procedimiento. El Comité también puede pedir al Estado parte que adopte medidas para proteger a las personas que están en peligro por sus vínculos con la persona desaparecida, o por las acciones que han tomado para buscarla”, dijo la Sra. Janina.

El objetivo del Comité, explicó, es ayudar a todos los involucrados, y de asesorar a los Estados partes para que respeten las obligaciones contenidas en la Convención contra las Desapariciones Forzadas. Entre esas obligaciones está la exigencia de que las desapariciones forzadas no vuelvan a ocurrir.

Para más información sobre el procedimiento, ver aquí:


Miembros del Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada son expertos independientes, provenientes de todas partes del mundo, quienes desempeñan sus funciones a título personal y no como representantes de los Estados partes. Para más información sobre el Comité visite:

¡Siga a la Oficina de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas en las redes sociales! Estamos en Twitter @UNHumanRights, Facebook @unitednationshumanrights e Instagram@unitednationshumanrights

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