Welcoming the Entry into Force of the Convention For the
Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearances
On behalf of the AFAD, we wish you a happy new year 2011! Let us make
this year a fruitful year for the respect of human rights and the
attainment of justice and peace.
Last year has been a successful year for the struggle against enforced
disappearance. The International Convention for the Protection of All
Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention) entered into force
on 23 December 2010. At the time of this treaty’s entry into force, it
had 88 signatories and 21 ratifications.
The entry into force itself does not necessarily mean that enforced
disappearances of persons will automatically disappear from the face of
the earth and that victims will attain their rights. This treaty, whose
crucial provisions are rooted from the concrete experiences of the
victims and families of victims of enforced disappearances from
different parts of the globe, gives more meaning to our common struggle
to prevent and stop this heinous practice, to enable victims and
survivors to find truth and justice and to concretize their rights. It
signifies that we already have a legally binding international
instrument that can be implemented in countries whose governments have
ratified it so that we can realize our dream of attaining a world free
from enforced disappearances.
The present challenge for the AFAD is to intensively and extensively
campaign and lobby for more ratifications so that the Convention will
universally be implemented. For the AFAD and the rest of the members of
the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED), it
is important to nurture the spirit of hope before the treaty was adopted
by consensus in 2006 by the UN General Assembly. With states’
ratification and obligatory codification of the offense through the
enactment of domestic laws penalizing disappearances, the Convention’s
implementation in the ground will certainly benefit the victims and
their families in the process of attaining truth, justice, reparation
and memory and to prevent recurrence. For this purpose, the role of
victims’ families’ associations, national human rights organizations and
the rest of civil society in pushing for the treaty’s implementation is
of paramount importance.
In this issue, The Voice shares with you, among other articles, some
analyses and updates on the process of campaign for justice for the
desaparecidos vis-a-vis the ratification of the Convention, through
the articles by Atty. Gabriella Citroni and of IKOHI of
This issue also shares with you AFAD’s efforts for empowerment and
consolidation such as the summary of victims’ psychological
strengthening and a bird’s eye view of our Fourth Congress in Jakarta in
Also in this issue is a review by Alan Harmer, AFAD member in Geneva, of
the documentary film, “Unsilenced,” depicting the uphill struggle for
justice of the families of 6 paper factory workers whose loved ones
disappeared in the Philippines.
Moreover, this issue speaks of our solidarity with our Latin American
sisters and brothers, who, because of their indefatigable struggle in
the fight for the truth and justice, have garnered small and grand
victories in the fight against impunity.
The rest of the pieces in this issue speak of the continuing malady of
enforced disappearances in Asia and the undying struggle to put an end
to the crime of enforced disappearances, to deliver the elusive truth,
to obtain justice and reparation for the victim and to ensure that never
again will this brutal practice of denying human existence occur in any
part of the world.