GENEVA (1 April 2022) – The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will visit Cyprus from 5 to 12 April 2022 at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
The experts will examine matters related to the Working Group’s mandate focusing in particular on: the right of victims to truth, justice and reparation in the context of enforced disappearances; the efforts towards the preservation of memory; and measures aimed at preventing enforced disappearances.
The Working Group will meet government authorities, the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, relatives of missing and disappeared persons, representatives of civil society organizations, UN entities, and other relevant stakeholders throughout the country.
The delegation – comprising of Luciano Hazan, Aua Balde and Henrikas Mickevicius – will visit Nicosia with field visits to other parts of the island.
At the end of the visit, the delegation will hold a news conference in Nicosia on 12 April 2022, at 11:30 local time at the Home for Co-operation, Markou Drakou 28, Nicosia 1102. Access is strictly limited to journalists.
A final report on the visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2022.
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Luciano Hazan (Argentina); and the Vice-Chair is Ms. Aua Balde (Guinea- Bissau); other members are Ms. Gabriella Citroni (Italy); Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius (Lithuania); and Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Republic of Korea).
The Working Group was established by the then UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. It endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. It also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance .
The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
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For more information and media requests (before and after the visit), please contact Mr. Ugo Cedrangolo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Vladimir Rakocevic: email@example.com
For media requests during the visit, please contact: Mr. Aleem Siddique, Spokesperson; Chief, Communications and Public Information, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus: firstname.lastname@example.org (Direct: +357 22 61 4408 Mobile: +357 996 16197)
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