Fact Sheet: Enforced Disappearances

Every year on 30 August, the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) and the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) join the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The commemoration of this day serves to call upon governments across the world to have a firm commitment to combating impunity as regards enforced disappearances, to speak up against the practice and tolerance of enforced disappearances which undermine the respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Commemoration of this day also serves to draw attention to the fate of individuals who disappeared at the hands of the state and whose whereabouts are unknown to their families, legal representatives and the general public.

Definition of Enforced Disappearances

Enforced disappearances, are defined by the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention) as, “The arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”

Human Rights Violated When Enforced Disappearances Occur

Enforced disappearances are a serious human rights violation which results in the deprivation of fundamental human rights which include:

  • The right to liberty and security of a person;
  • The right to life, if the victim is killed;
  • Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • The right to truth regarding the circumstances of the disappearance;
  • The right to an identity.

Access the full fact-sheet here (4MB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project

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