Call for inputs in view of the special initiative marking the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Study to mark the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
On 18 December 2022, the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (hereinafter, “the Declaration”), adopted by General Assembly Resolution 47/133, will turn 30. Since its adoption, the Declaration significantly contributed to the progress of international law on enforced disappearance (eventually culminated in the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance), as well as of international practice and domestic legislation and jurisprudence.
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has decided to launch a special initiative to mark the adoption of the Declaration, aiming at taking stock of the progress of international law on the subject, as well as identifying the obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration and the ways in which the Working Group could support States in overcoming them, including through technical assistance and cooperation.
The study will focus on the contribution of the Declaration to the progress of international and domestic law and jurisprudence, the obstacles encountered in its implementation, the relevant lessons learned and good practices.
Key questions and types of input/comments sought
The Working Group would like to invite member States, as well as all interested individuals and organizations working on issues related to enforced disappearance, including National Human Rights Institutions, intergovernmental organizations, regional human rights mechanisms, representatives of civil society organizations, experts and academics, to provide input for the preparation of the foreseen study. Inputs can be both country-specific or of a general nature and should contain information on the following subjects:
- Impact of the Declaration on domestic legislation and case law;
- Main progress of international law and practice on enforced disappearance since the adoption of the Declaration;
- Obstacles and challenges encountered in the implementation of the Declaration: good practices and lessons learned to overcome them;
- Good practices and lessons learned concerning technical assistance and cooperation to promote the knowledge of the Declaration and enhance the existing legal framework and practices and promote ratification and acceptance of more recent legal instruments, and in particular of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;
- Awareness on the contents of the Declaration and activities to further disseminate it: good practices and lessons learned.
Treatment of inputs/comments received
Input/comments may be sent by e-mail, and received by
2 February 2022
E-mail subject line
Input for marking of 30 anniversary of the Declaration
English, French and Spanish
Publication of inputs/confidentiality
All inputs received will be published in the website of the Working Group, unless it is indicated that the submission should be kept confidential
Please provide your name (if applicable, title of your organization) and contact details, including your email address in case we need to contact you in connection with this survey.
- Can you please share examples of how the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (hereinafter, “the Declaration”) has contributed to the development of domestic legislation in your country (or countries in focus)? Can you kindly share examples of domestic provisions that were adopted in your country (or countries in focus) as a result of the implementation of the Declaration?
- Can you please indicate the status of the Declaration in the domestic legal order in your country (or countries in focus), i.e. with respect to ordinary legislation?
- Can you please illustrate if the provisions of the Declaration can be invoked before domestic courts in your country (or countries in focus) and, if so, share examples of case law where domestic courts made reference to the Declaration in their verdicts (if possible, summarizing to which provisions of the Declaration reference was made and how they were interpreted)?
- Can you please illustrate how has the Declaration contributed to the development of international law on enforced disappearance?
- Has your State (or countries in focus) ratified or acceded to the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances? If your State (or countries in focus) has not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention, is there any pending project or initiative to do so?
- Can you please illustrate how the Declaration has influenced international jurisprudence on enforced disappearance? In particular, can you share examples of judgments/verdicts/Views or decisions delivered by international courts or mechanisms where reference was made to the Declaration (if possible, summarizing to which provisions of the Declaration reference was made and how they were interpreted)?
- Can you kindly indicate the main obstacles – practical and legal – encountered by you/your country (or countries in focus)/ institution/organization in the implementation of the Declaration (if possible, making reference to specific provisions and concrete examples)?
- Can you kindly illustrate whether your country (or countries in focus) has previous experiences with regard to technical cooperation and assistance from Special Procedures and whether you think this could be an effective means to further disseminate and foster the implementation of the Declaration. What other kind of initiatives could be favoured?
- Can you kindly illustrate any activity undertaken in your country (or countries in focus) to raise awareness and further disseminate the content of the Declaration? To your knowledge, has the Declaration been translated in any local language other than the six UN language? If so, could you please share a copy?
- Can you kindly share information on existing training programs (directed both at authorities and at civil society organizations) in your country (or countries in focus) where the Declaration is analyzed and disseminated? Any information on the nature and frequency of such trainings is welcome.
- Is there any other information that you deem relevant for the purposes of the study?
The States who responded to the call for inputs were Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Guatemala, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Ukraine, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.
Written contributions were also received from the following organizations: Amman Center for Human Rights Studies; Assistance Association for Political Prisoners; Centro de Activismo y Desarrollo Democrático para la Región CDDLatam, Red Latinoamericana de Jóvenes por la Democracia - Venezuela; Comité de Víctimas del Estado Carabobo; Collectif des familles de Disparus en Algérie; Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de México; Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos; Defence of Human Rights Pakistan; The Freedom Initiative and Committee for Justice; Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico); Human Rights Foundation of Turkey; International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute; Lebanese Center for Human Rights; Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights; Madres de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora and FEDEFAM; Movimiento Nacional por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México; Peace and Transitional Justice team at Colombia Diversa; Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz; Syrian Legal Development Program; The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence – KontraS; The Section on Archives and Human Rights of the International Council on Archives; and TRIAL International and Human Rights and Justice Centre-Nepal.
Moreover, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico submitted a contribution.
Additionally, responses were received from Bournemouth University; Clínica Jurídica Minerva Calderón – Ibero, Puebla and Colectivo Voz de los Desaparecidos en Puebla; Clinique doctorale Aix Global Justice; Fernando Daniel de Lucio Villalobos, and Syrian Initiative to Combat Sexual and Gender-based Violence of the American University Washington College of Law.
Unofficial translations of the Declaration, as well as the integral texts of the inputs received within the set deadline and in accessible formats are available, in the languages of submission, at: https://owncloud.unog.ch/s/fHfDtaNLPiYgexR
For any inquiry, please write to