ICJ calls for criminalising enforced disappearanceThe International Commission of Jurists has called for recognising the cases of enforced disappearance as a serious crime in domestic law to ensure justice to the victims.
The International Commission of Jurists has called for recognising the cases of enforced disappearance as a serious crime in domestic law to ensure justice to the victims.
In its report entitled “No more ‘missing persons’: The criminalisation of enforced disappearance in South Asia” released on the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the ICJ provides an overview of the practice of enforced disappearance, focusing specifically on the status of the criminalisation of the practice in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“In Nepal, after more than a decade since the end of the armed conflict, the fate and whereabouts of more than a thousand possible victims of enforced disappearance remain unknown,” the report says.
Nepal’s decade-long civil war claimed more than 13,000 lives. Whereabouts of around 1,400 people still remains unknown. The two commissions formed to probe into the crimes have received around 60,000 complaints. But investigation has been tardy, largely due to political bickering.
One of the primary obstacles to ensuring accountability for past human rights violations, and deterring future ones, has been the lack of an adequate national legal framework, the report says.
“In Nepal, draft legislation to criminalise enforced disappearance is under consideration. Though welcome, the draft bills in both countries are flawed and do not meet international standards under consideration,” says the report.
“It is alarming that despite the region having some of the highest numbers of reported cases of disappearances in the world, enforced disappearance is not presently a distinct crime in any South Asian country,” an ICJ press release quoted Frederick Rawski, ICJ’s Asia director, as saying.