Every last week of May, the international community, especially the associations of families of the disappeared, commemorate the International Week of the Disappeared (IWD). Accordingly Odhikar is observing the IWD from 27 May – June 2, 2012. During this week Odhikar condemns the failure of the government of Bangladesh to protect the citizens from enforced disappearance and extends solidarity to the families of the victim.
The IWD was initiated by the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM), during its founding Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981. Over the past thirty years this event has inspired many organisations world-wide to fight enforced disappearances.
The Justice for Peace Foundation (JPF) today called on the Thai Government to ratify and comply with the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances in a report which documents the enforced disappearance of 59 people from throughout Thailand.
“JPF has found that enforced disappearances take place within a broader context of state violence which is used to silence dissenting views and to eliminate suspected criminals, outside of the rule of law”, said Angkhana Neelapaijit, JPF President.
As the world observes the International Week of the Disappeared on 28 May – 02 June 2012, the Philippines undergoes the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland tomorrow, 29 May 2012.
One of the standing Council recommendations to the Philippines is to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Philippines neither “accepted” nor “refused” the said recommendation but declared “to consider” it.
It is hoped that the Philippines during the UPR will once and for all decide and sincerely commit to sign and accede to the Convention soonest.
28 May 2012
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DISAPPEARED 2012
Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance (AFAD)
We mark the International Week of the Disappeared (28 May – 02 June) this year amidst the continued commission of enforced disappearances in no less than 87 countries across continents. The families of desaparecidos in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste join our Asian neighbors in giving tribute to the desaparecidos and more importantly in abhorring the culture of impunity that generally blankets perpetrators and violators in the region. Too, this year’s commemoration coincided with an important exercise of the United Nations Human Rights Council in its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of some Asian States.
It is alarming that in more recent years, Asia has submitted to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN WGEID) the highest number of persons who are made to disappear for exercising their rights and for opposing human rights violations. These and scores of other unreported and undocumented victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances reflect the stark reality of human rights protection in the region.