Initiative for the Protection of Migrants from Enforced Disappearance

More than ten thousand mostly minor refugees are deemed to have disappeared within the European Union. Migrants who cross the Mediterranean Sea are missing, migrants are disappearing in North Africa as well as in Mexico or via the Inner Asian migration routes. Migrants in particular are at risk of falling victim to acts of enforced disappearance. Seeking a better life, they set off for the country of destination, mostly under precarious conditions and without any protection, and very often without any knowledge of the language of that country. In many cases, it takes weeks or months, sometimes even years, before their relatives can report them as missing and start the arduous search for their beloved.

States are responsible for the protection of migrants from enforced disappearance, to search for the disappeared and to solve such cases.

What does it mean to family members when their loved ones disappear? What do local human rights organisations do to support them in their search, and how do they promote the rights of the victims? What can international organisations and each of us individually do against enforced disappearance? In the next few weeks, we will publish on the website www.gewaltsames-versachwindenlassen.de a number of contributions to the discussion of this issue, and we will give persons affected and experts space for their comments.

In the Coalition against Enforced Disappearances, non-governmental organisations and research institutions who have been working on human rights issues for many years have joined forces. The enforced disappearance of individuals, including the systematic obstruction of clearance activities, is a particularly cruel and criminal violation of human rights. We want to counter this with our outreach activities. On our internet platform, we would like to jointly spread comprehensive information on this topic.

Join in by sending us your statement! Write your demands for action to politicians on a poster, take a photo and send it to us, aktion@gewaltsames-verschwindenlassen.de! On 30 August 2020, which is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, we will publish contributions and demands.

Photos should meet the following requirements: JPG format; upright format; resolution: 72 dpi or more; minimum height: 700 px.

 „enforced disappearance“ is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.” (Article 2, International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance)

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