On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the International Day of the Disappeared, France would like to reaffirm the importance of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
France, which instigated the first resolution on enforced disappearances presented to the UN General Assembly in 1979, has, together with Argentina, promoted this draft convention for almost 30 years; the convention was adopted unanimously by the United Nations in December 2006. France hosted the signing of the convention in February 2007 in Paris.
On 30 August 2010, 83 States signed the convention; 10 of these States have ratified the convention. One more country must ratify the Convention in order for it to enter into force.
The Convention constitutes a vital instrument in the fight against impunity and the protection of human rights. It makes it a criminal offence for a State - or individual acting at its instigation - to cause a person to disappear without the fate reserved for this person ever being known. It bans centers of enforced detention and strengthens procedural guarantees related to putting people into custody.
However, enforced disappearances still remain an all too common occurrence in 2010 as shown by the work of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, established in February 1980, which has dealt with more than 50,000 cases in 80 countries during its 30 years of existence. More than 200 cases have been submitted to this working group over the last few months.
France continues to work towards the universalization of this Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and urges all of the signatory countries to ratify the Convention so that it can enter into force as swiftly as possible.
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