30 August: International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
30 August was declared as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances by the UN General Assembly expressing its concern by the increase in the number of involuntary or enforced disappearances in different parts of the world. The UN General Assembly declared this day by its resolution 65/209, on 21 December 2010.
The UN General Assembly, by this same resolution also welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The involuntary or enforced disappearances are a result of abduction, detention or arrest or other factors or reasons. Also, there are growing numbers of reports which include ill-treatment, harassment as well as intimidation of the witnesses of these disappearances or of the persons or the relatives who have disappeared.
What is Enforced Disappearance?
Enforced disappearance has been used a lot in order to spread the terror in the societies. This gives the feeling of insecurity within a society. Enforced disappearance not just affects the disappeared person or the relatives and witnesses, but also the cumulative society.
Enforced disappearance is a global-level issue and is not restricted to a few areas of the world. Initially, enforced disappearance was a product of the military dictatorship but now it has also entered into situations of internal conflict, primarily the political repression of the opponents.
Major concerns of enforced disappearance
The major concerns of enforced disappearance include:
• ongoing harassment of the relatives of the victims, legal counsel, witnesses as well as human rights defenders
• use by the States of counter-terrorist activities as excuse of breaching the obligation
• widespread impunity of the enforced disappearances
• target groups include people with disabilities as well as children
What is done on the day?
Every year on 30 August, the organisations like Amnesty International and United Nations play a pivotal role in creating awareness about enforced disappearance. Awareness is raised regarding enforced disappearance as a crime. It is explained to the people that enforced disappearance should not be used as tool for dealing with the situations of conflicts.
On this day, at various places, the activists share the personal stories as well as experiences about enforced disappearance through the public event as well as media. The victims of enforced disappearance are brought out openly to share their stories and experiences.