WSCF joins NGO call to prevent “disappearances”

March 2006

The World Student Christian Federation has joined with other global NGOs to demand the UN Human Rights Commission push forward with international protection against “forced disappearance”.

WSCF and seventy four other NGOs have signed a declaration expressing concern that the draft convention protecting people from being “disappeared” will be overlooked at this Human Rights meeting, due to the commission’s own uncertainty with its future role in the UN.

The declaration in full including the list of signatories follows below.

NGO Declaration

“Building protection for the victims of disappearances cannot be held hostage to transitional arrangements”

NGOs call on Member States to adopt Draft Convention on Enforced Disappearance at the 62nd Commission on Human Rights

We, the undersigned NGOs call on Member States of the UN Commission on Human Rights to adopt the “Draft International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” at the 62nd and ultimate session and to transmit it to the General Assembly for its final adoption.

We fear that the Commission, for reasons of transitional arrangements, would postpone the adoption of the text to hand it to the Council. Yet, we believe that further delaying its adoption would jeopardize it.

Postponing the adoption of such an important text for procedural reasons would be an act of betrayal for the families of victims that have been working for the adoption of the text for many years: building protection for the families of victims cannot be held hostage to transitional arrangements. The Commission has a historical opportunity to adopt the Draft Convention and it should not let it pass.

The Convention fills a huge gap in international law: the absence at the universal level of a treaty addressing the multiple human rights violations and the international crime that is enforced disappearance.

This text, adopted by consensus on 23 September 2005 by the intersessional Working Group established by the Commission, is the result of several years of work of the Working Group. The consensus was reached thanks to the constructive spirit of all delegations. The Draft Convention is now before the Commission for its adoption.
Since 1980, when the first ever independent enquiry mechanism of the Commission on Human Rights, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances was established, the Commission has made tireless efforts to face this hideous practice of enforced disappearance. In 1992, the Commission adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. In 2006, as this work is nearing its end, it would be incomprehensible if the Commission did not renew its commitment against enforced disappearance and did not adopt the Draft International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

First Signatories

1 International Commission of Jurists, Nicholas Howen, Secretary General

2 Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme (FIDH), Sidiki Kaba, President

3 Human Rights Watch, Reed Brody

4 SOLIDA (Soutien aux Libanais Détenus Arbitrairement), Wadih Al-Asmar, Vice Président

5 FEDEFAM (Latin American Federation ofAssociations of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees),
Patricio Rice Membre du Conseil d'Administration,

6 TASSC (Torture Abolition Survivors Support Coalition), Patricio Rice Membre du Conseil d'Administration,
7 International Service for Human Rights, Switzerland, Chris Sidoti, Director,

8 Humanist Committee on Human Rights, Dave Hardy,

9 Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Malawi, Undule Mwakasungura, Acting Executive Director,

10 Association of World Citizens, Rene Wadlow, chief representative,

11 People’s Empowerment Consortium (PEC), Heru Atmodjo,

12 Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared (IKOHI), Indonesia, Mugiyanto, Chairperson

13 May 18 Memorial Foundation, South Korea, Agnes Gurning,

14 Commite of Action Solidarity for Munir (KASUM), Indonesia, Suciwati,member,

15 Prasis, Jakarta, Indonesia, Ayi Bunyamin, Eksecutive Secretary,

16 Global Network for the Prevention of Torture (GNPT), Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mr. Fazlous Satter, coordinator

17 Indonesia's NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy (HRWG), Indonesia, Rafendi Djamin, Coordinator,

18 Nonviolence International – Southeast Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, Alfredo Ferrariz Lubang, Regional Representative,

19 Institute of Advocation for Rehabilitation of The Victims of New Order Regime of Indonesia (shortened in Indonesia LPRKROB), Sumaun Utomo, President,

20 KONTRAS The Commission of Disappearance and Victims of Violence, Indonesia, Coordinator,

21 Asian Federation Against involuntary disappearances (AFAD), Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, Secretary-General,

22 German Forum Human Rights, Theodor Rathgeber,

23 International Association of democratic lawyers, Belgium, Jitendra Sharma, President,

24 International Educational Development to the statement, Karen Parker, Chief delegate to UN,

25 FIACAT, Marie-Jo Cocher, Secrétaire exécutive,

26 LUCIS TRUST, Switzerland, Ghislaine de Reydet, Secretary General,

27 Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España, Luis Acebal-Monfort, Vicepresident Secretary General

28 Human Rights Lecturer Constitutional Department, Faculty of Law Airlangga University -Indonesia, R. Herlambang Perdana Wiratraman,

29 Socialist International Women (SIW), United Kingdom, Karin Stasius, Geneva Permanent Representative of SIW

30 Truth and Justice Commission (TJC), Pakistan, Mohammad Farooq Niazi ,Chairperson

31 Program ManagerHuman Rights Center Ateneo de Manila School of Law, Philippines, Ray Paolo J. Santiago,

32 Franciscans International, Alessandra Aula,

33 Dominicans for Justice and Peace, Philippe LeBlanc,

34 Nord-Sud XXI, Suisse, Ahmad Soueissi, Directeur Général

35 Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), India,
Parvez Imroz, Patron

36 Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), Raquel Paca-Santos, Secretary General,

37 Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Renato Mabunga, Secretary General

38 Coalition Against Involuntary Disappearances (CAID) Philippines, Nilda L.Sevilla, Head Convenor,

39 Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing and Justice (PATH), Philippines, Robert Francis B. Garcia, Secretary General,

40 Institute of Advocation for Rehabilitation of The Victims of New Order Regime of Indonesia (shortened in Indonesia LPRKROB), Sumaun Utomo, President,

41 International Association Against Torture, Fernando Ruiz, Permanent Representative at Geneva,

42 Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Bangkok, Thailand, Anselmo Lee, Executive Director,

43 Earthjustice, Yves Lador, Permanent Representative at Geneva,

44 YAMAJO, yayasan madani jombang, Muslim Abdilla, Executive Director,

45 World Student Christian Federation, Michael Wallace, General Secretary,

46 Amnesty International, Peter Splinter, Permanent Representative at Geneva,

47 Advocacy Forum, Mandira Sharma, Chair Person,

48 Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Chair Person,

49 Himalayan Human Rights Monitoring (HIMRIGHTS), Anjana Shakya, Chair Person

50 Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), Gauri Pradhan, Chair Person,

51 INHURED International, Gopal Siwakoti, Chair Person,

52 National Human Rights Foundation, Bhwani Kharel, Chair Person,

53 Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON), Charan Prasain, Chair Person,

54 Forum for Women Law and Development, Sapana Pradhan Malla, Chair Person,

55 Children Women and Social Service and Human Rights (CWISH), Santa Adhikary, Chair Person,

56 Jagaran Media Centre, Subas Kumar Darnal, Chair Person,

57 Jagaran Nepal, Sarmila Karki, Chair Person,

58 Centre for Victims of Torture, Bhogendra Sharma, Chair Person

59 Rural Reconstruction Nepal, Rishi Adhikary, General Secretary

60 Association of Families of Disappered People by the State, Moti Maya Poudel, Central Committee Member

61 On behalf of NGO Federation of Nepal (Umbrella organization of more than 2000 NGOS in Nepal), Arjun Karki, Chair Person

62 On behalf of Defend for Human Rights Movement in Nepal, Shovakar Bhudhathoki, Coordinator (27 Human Rights organisaiton's network)
63 On behalf of Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) Network of more than 30 human rights and peace related NGOs network, Bijaya Guidel, Manager,

64 On behalf of Treaty Monitoring Coordinating Committee (Network of
44 Human Rights Organizations), Bidhya Chapagain, Coordinator,

65 On behalf of Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Purna Basnet, Central Committee Member(umbrella organization of more than 5000 journalists of Nepal),

66 On behalf of Dalit NGO Federation, Durga Sob, Central Committee Member (Umbrella organization of more than 300 Dalit Organization),

67 On behalf of Nepal Bar Association, Sambhu Thapa, Chair Person (Umbrella Organization of more than 8000 lawyers of Nepal),

68 Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP), Gianfranco Fottorini, Permanent Representative to UNOG,

69 Women’s International League for Peace anf Freedom, Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter, Human Rights intern,

70 Association for cold education, David G.Litteman,

71 World Union for Progressive Judaism, David G.Litteman,

72 World Alliance of YMCAs, Alexander Geutsch, Representative to CHR,

73 World Young Women’s Christian Organization (YWCA),

74 Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association International,

75 Pax Romana, Budi Tjahjono, Representative to UN