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Enforced disappearances: UN expert group to review more than 300 cases from 24 countries

GENEVA (4 February 2022) – The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will hold in hybrid format its 126th session from 7 to 11 February 2022 to examine more than 300 cases from 24 countries.

The five independent experts will hold meetings with relatives of forcibly disappeared persons, State representatives, civil society groups and other stakeholders to exchange information on individual cases and on structural issues and challenges related to enforced disappearances.

The experts will also examine allegations received regarding obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (‘the Declaration’), such as regressive legislation and practices, or systemic failures in addressing cases of enforced disappearance, notably in the areas of truth and justice.

The Working Group will also discuss internal matters and future activities, including its envisaged country visits for 2022 and 2023 and the special initiative marking the 30th anniversary of the Declaration.

Issues such as disappearances perpetrated by non-state actors as well as the linkages between enforced disappearances and new technologies will also be discussed during the session.

The decisions made by the Working Group during the 126th session will be reflected in its next post-sessional report.

The sessions of the Working Group are held in private.


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.

Learn how to submit a case to the Working Group.

Learn more about the work of the Working Group.

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Ugo Cedrangolo: ugo.cedrangolo1@un.org or ohchr-wgeid@un.org

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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