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International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

30 August, 2021

An enforced (or forced) disappearance is when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organisation, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate and whereabouts, with the intent of depriving them of all rights, including the right to:

  • ┬árecognition as a person before the law;
  • liberty and security of the person;
  • not be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • life, when the disappeared person is killed;
  • an identity;
  • a fair trial and to judicial guarantees;
  • an effective remedy, including reparation and compensation;
  • the truth regarding the circumstances of a disappearance.
  • protection and assistance to the family;
  • an adequate standard of living;
  • health; and
  • education.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is to recognise enforced disappearance as a global problem that is largely the product of military dictatorships perpetrated in complex internal conflict situations, especially as a means of political repression of opponents. It is also to observe the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by eradicating the practice of enforced disappearances and the harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or the relatives of persons who have disappeared.


Image: Victims of Enforced Disappearances