Committee on Enforced Disappearances must protect NGOs from reprisals
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 10:18


(Geneva, 15 July,  2013) - The UN's expert Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) should ensure that it's working methods protect NGOs and victims from intimidation and reprisals, said the International Service for Human Rights today. In a joint submission to the CED, together with Child Rights Connect, Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), FIACAT, International Movement Against all forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), and Al-Karama, ISHR presented a series of suggesetions to the Committee.


In a draft document outlining its relationship with civil society, the Committee recognised that civil society has a key role to play in assisting it in discharging its mandate effectively. 'This is a welcome acknowledgement of the importance of the contribution of civil society to the work of the treaty bodies' said Heather Collister of the International Service for Human Rights.


The draft document identifies a series of areas in which civil society is strongly encouraged to participate in the Committee’s work, including assisting victims of enforced disappearance to submit complaints, submitting alternative reports for State reviews, translating the Committee’s documents into local languages, and organising trainings to raise awareness of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. While this range of activities demonstrates that the Committee recognises the potential of civil society to assist it in carrying out its mandate, the purpose of the document is set out as to clarify and further develop the Committee’s relationship with civil society actors and to enhance their contribution in the implementation of the Convention at the domestic level. 'Enhancing the contribution of civil society demands Committee facilitate the contribution of civil society, and protect those that engage with it ', Ms Collister said.


The draft does include some steps that the Committee plans to undertake to facilitate the participation of civil society. ISHR, Al-Karama, Child Rights Connect, FIACAT, IMADR, and CELS welcome also the Committee’s recognition of the need for civil society to have advance notice of reporting schedules, in order that it can plan its input [paragraph 9], the encouragement of the use of technology to facilitate participation [paragraph 24], and the note that Committee members are ready to consider participating in awareness-raising activities organised by civil society [paragraph 27].


The joint NGO contribution sets out additional efforts that the Committee could undertake to do to facilitate civil society’s engagement and participation, and develop a mutually reinforcing and sustainable relationship. The submission is available here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 20:49
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