30 August is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The day is observed every year dedicating to raise awareness about the global crime of enforced disappearance.
The world stand in solidarity with those who have been subjected to the anguish of separation from their families and friends.
The issue of enforced disappearances and missing persons is a global concern. The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is an opportunity to raise awareness about this crime and to demand justice for the victims and their families. It is also an opportunity to call on governments to take action to prevent enforced disappearances and to bring those responsible to justice.
On the occasion, the UN marked Wednesday’s International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance by condemning the “atrocious crime” and urging all Member States to hold those who perpetrate it accountable.
Secretary-General António Guterres said enforced disappearance was “a serious human rights violation that has frequently been used to spread terror…I call on countries to help put an end to this atrocious crime”.
According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), enforced disappearance can be defined as the arrest, detention, or abduction of an individual by the State or group acting with the authorization of the State, followed by concealment of the whereabouts of the disappeared person.
According to the UN, hundreds of thousands of people have vanished during conflicts or periods of repression in at least 85 countries around the world. Over 100,000 people have disappeared without a trace in Mexico, and indigenous women are particularly vulnerable, the report said.
On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.
By the same resolution the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011. The date, August 30, was chosen to commemorate the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, a Filipino human rights activist who was abducted by state forces in 2007.