As the world observes the International Week of the Disappeared on 28 May – 02 June 2012, the Philippines undergoes the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland tomorrow, 29 May 2012.
One of the standing Council recommendations to the Philippines is to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Philippines neither “accepted” nor “refused” the said recommendation but declared “to consider” it.
It is hoped that the Philippines during the UPR will once and for all decide and sincerely commit to sign and accede to the Convention soonest.
28 May 2012
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DISAPPEARED 2012
Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance (AFAD)
We mark the International Week of the Disappeared (28 May – 02 June) this year amidst the continued commission of enforced disappearances in no less than 87 countries across continents. The families of desaparecidos in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste join our Asian neighbors in giving tribute to the desaparecidos and more importantly in abhorring the culture of impunity that generally blankets perpetrators and violators in the region. Too, this year’s commemoration coincided with an important exercise of the United Nations Human Rights Council in its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of some Asian States.
It is alarming that in more recent years, Asia has submitted to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN WGEID) the highest number of persons who are made to disappear for exercising their rights and for opposing human rights violations. These and scores of other unreported and undocumented victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances reflect the stark reality of human rights protection in the region.
27 May –June 2, 2012 – Every last week of May, the international community, especially the associations of families of the disappeared, commemorates the International Week of the Disappeared (IWD). The commemoration of the IWD can be traced to the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (FEDEFAM), which initiated this event during its founding Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1981. Over the past thirty years this event has inspired many organizations world-wide to fight enforced disappearances.
This week, in the observance of the International Week of the Disappeared, the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) and its 40 member-organizations from Africa, Asia, the Eurasian Region (Euro-Mediterranean Region, Caucasus and Belarus), Latin America and the United States of America will conduct various activities to intensify its campaign for the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (the Convention) and in so doing, pay tribute to the disappeared.
South African Extraordinary Professor and UN official to visit PH for the International Week of the Disappeared
Mr. Jeremy Sarkin, Extraordinary Professor of the University of South Africa, former Chairperson-Rapporteur and incumbent member of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) will visit the country in his personal capacity as a UN expert on May 29, 2012. He will join the families of the disappeared and other human rights groups in the commemoration of the International Week of the Disappeared.