PBI marks 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Published by Brent Patterson on

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In December 2010, the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction.

The General Assembly also expressed concern about the number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

It then declared August 30 the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances to be observed beginning in 2011.


On August 30 of this year, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Today on the International Day of #DesapariciónForzada, we remember the victims and relatives of this painful crime. We also recognize your companions as the @nydia_erika whom we accompany in the commemoration of the 34 years of disappearance of Nydia Erika Bautista.”


PBI-Mexico also tweeted: “In the framework of the International Day of the Victims of #DesaparicionesForzadas, we accompany @CdhPasodelNorte and @UnidasVerdad in an act to resignify [rededicate] the monument to the mother in Ciudad Juárez.”

PBI-Mexico additionally tweeted: “Today in #CDMX [Mexico City], PBI-Mexico accompanies @comitecerezo, organizations and relatives of missing persons in the March for the International Day of the Victims of #DesapariciónForzada who have arrived at the Zócalo [the city’s main square] with the slogan: ‘They were taken alive, alive we want you!’”


PBI-Honduras tweeted: “PBI observes the mobilization in Tegucigalpa against the ZEDEs [special economic zones] and the delivery of the territory. This action matches the #DiaDelDetenidoDesaparecido [Day of the Disappeared Detainee].”


And PBI-Guatemala posted: “Today is the International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances; we share this webinar remembering missing people from the #MilitarDiario [Military Diary case].”

PBI-Guatemala also posted from Caso Creompaz: “Today on the International Day of the Victims of #ForcedDisappearance, we remember the victims of the #CasoCREOMPAZ that for more than thirty years remained missing until their remains were found at this military base. Many more missing people missing from finding and lack of JUSTICE!”


Regrettably, Canada has not signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2006.

Speculation has included Canada did not sign this convention because of its role in the enforced disappearance of detainees in Afghanistan (and the transfer of those detainees to Afghan secret police with the foreknowledge they would be tortured).

Canada may have also not signed the Convention given the high number of missing Indigenous women in Canada (which has been linked to colonization and systemic oppressions) and to the state abduction of Indigenous children to “residential schools” (where thousands died and parents were left not ever knowing the whereabouts of their children).

As of August 2017, 57 countries have ratified the Convention. The UN Human Rights Office has launched an initiative to increase that number to 112 by 2022.

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