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Enforced Disappearances: UN Committee Welcomes Mexico’s Decision On Individual Complaints

The unanimous decision by the Mexican Senate to recognize the competence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to examine individual complaints is a significant step in the country’s human rights development, the Committee said in a statement on Friday.

“The crime of enforced disappearance is a particularly heinous violation of human rights that leads to suffering and anguish for the disappeared persons and their relatives,” the Committee said.

“We congratulate Mexico for further supporting and empowering the relatives of victims and those helping them in their daily struggle for truth and justice by accepting the competence of the Committee to examine individual complaints,” the statement added.

The Senate’s decision follows years of demands by families of disappeared persons and the cumulative efforts of the Committee, the UN Human Rights Office and other human rights organizations. According to Mexico’s National Commission for the Search for Disappeared Persons, at the end of 2019, some 61,637 had disappeared in the country.

The Senate’s declaration will take effect once it is submitted to the UN Secretary-General. The Committee will then be able to receive and examine individual complaints under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

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The individual complaints mechanism opens up an important platform for the Committee to communicate with the State parties on the actions they have to take to prevent enforced disappearances, search for the disappeared, and to promote their rights as well as those of their families once they have exhausted all domestic channels.

Mexico ratified the Convention in 2008. Its initial report was examined by the Committee in 2015, followed by the examination of additional information in 2018.

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