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New UN convention on ‘disappearances’ becomes law

An international convention aimed at preventing ‘disappearances’ - a fate affecting tens of thousands of people throughout the world - came into force last week.

The International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, first launched by the UN General Assembly in 2006, became law following its ratification last month by the minimum 20 states. Another sixty states have also signed the Convention.

"It is an important achievement in the struggle against a cause of indescribable fear and sorrow for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide."

- Olivier Dubois of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Enforced disappearances inflict unbearable cruelty not just on the victims, but on family members - who often wait years or decades to learn of their fate"

- Aisling Reidy, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

See the report by AFP here.

The UN established a Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances thirty years ago.

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