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The Czech Republic has ratified the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

 

On February 8, 2017, in New York, the Czech Republic deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to the United Nations Secretary General, depositary of the Convention.

The Convention is one of the core human rights conventions of the United Nations. It defines the phenomenon of ‘enforced disappearance’ as a deprivation of liberty by state power, 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. By ratifying the Convention, the Czech Republic joined 55 other countries, including 12 EU member states. Additionally, there are 47 states which have so far only signed the Convention and their ratification processes are ongoing.

In various parts of the world, enforced disappearance is a mass phenomenon and the Czech Republic strongly supports its punishment and, in particular, its prevention. The essential tool for prevention is the widest possible contractual base of the Convention. In the recent history of the European region, enforced disappearance was a typical phenomenon, for example, during the wars in Chechnya and former Yugoslavia. Numerous cases of enforced disappearance occurred in the last decade in Columbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Enforced disappearance of persons remains a topical issue in many parts of the world, including a region relatively close to the Czech Republic – we have observed serious suspicions of committing crimes of enforced disappearance in Ukraine’s Crimea and Donbas. The UN currently registers 44,000 individual cases of enforced disappearance in 88 countries. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for example, 65,000 persons have disappeared in Syria since 2011.

The Convention was approved on 20 December 2006 by the UN General Assembly. The Czech Republic signed the Convention on 19 July 2016 under the Government Resolution no. 524, of 8 June 2016. The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic gave its consent to the ratification of the Convention under the Resolution no. 543, of 19 October 2016. The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic gave its consent to the ratification of the Convention under the Resolution no. 1433, of 1 December 2016.

For the Czech Republic, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit of the instrument of ratification.

 

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