The 51st Session of the Human Rights Council
12 September 2022 – 7 October 2022
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances
20th September 2022
Statement of the Meezaan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre for Justice
Delivered by Martin Browne / GICJ
Thank you Mr. President,
We welcome the report of the Working Group and commend those who contribute to its activities.
We lament reports of countries failing to fully engage with the Working Group when core human rights are threatened by disappearence; states should take every possible measure to prevent threats to life, liberty, and of torture. We urge states who are proud of their human rights record to respond to requests for information and permit country visits in the coming year.
On technological interference - the Group’s findings chime with our work. We urge all states to refrain from exploiting technology to monitor those campaigning for the enjoyment of basic rights, especially those who simply want to contact their family members.
Positively, States should support technology that documents and shares essential information about persons, detention facilities, and burial sites to facilitate effective investigation. This is particularly vital in Iraq where detention sites are kept secret from family members and official requests to access burial sites are blocked without reason.
Meezaan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre for Justice remind states that no situation of conflict, or political instability may be invoked to justify disappearances nor to ignore requests for more information.
States do not have to be a signatory to the Convention in order to be bound by norms of basic humanity. Nevertheless, we call on more states to ratify the Convention and work to implement its provisions domestically.