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HRC30 Oral Statement – Interactive Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence and the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances

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30th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff and the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances

Joint oral statement by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Pax Romana, International Movement All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and Franciscans International

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Thank you Mr. President. We welcome the report of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence.

Sri Lanka has originated the largest number of complaints to the Working Group in the last 9 years and 2nd largest in the body’s history. We urge the government of Sri Lanka to provide full access to the Working Group during its upcoming visit to the country. We welcome the Government’s commitment to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and stress that such ratification must include the acceptance of Article 31 of the Convention. Legislation exclusively on disappearances is also necessary for its effective criminalisation in Sri Lanka.

As victims, we have lost trust in various domestic mechanisms on disappearances, including the current Presidential Commission on Missing Persons. Instilling confidence and ensuring the independence of proposed transitional justice mechanisms and the Office on Missing Persons will at minimum require substantial international participation and involvement. Additionally mechanisms on disappearances and transitional justice cannot be credible without the full involvement of victims, their families and civil society in their design and implementation. It is further imperative that OHCHR monitors and reports back to this Council on progress made by such mechanisms and challenges faced, especially on efforts to establish accountability and prosecute those responsible.

In this context we welcome the recent advisory visit of the Special Rapporteur and call for continued, regular and sustained engagement of this Council with Sri Lanka, following the upcoming release of OHCHR’s report on the country.

Thank you Mr. President.

Click here to download the oral statement (PDF)