United Nations

General Assembly

Distr.: General
2 March 2012
Original: English

Human Rights Council
Nineteenth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

Report of the Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances
* **

The Working Group was the first United Nations human rights thematic mechanism
to be established with a universal mandate. The original mandate derives from Commission
on Human Rights resolution 20 (XXXVI) of 29 February 1980. This resolution followed
General Assembly resolution 33/173 of 20 December 1978, in which the Assembly
expressed concern at reports from various parts of the world relating to enforced
disappearances and requested the Commission on Human Rights to consider the question of
missing or disappeared persons. The mandate was most recently extended by the Human
Rights Council in its resolution 16/16 of 24 March 2011.
The total number of cases transmitted by the Working Group to Governments since
its inception is 53,778. The number of cases under active consideration that have not yet
been clarified, closed or discontinued stands at 42,759 in a total of 82 States. The Working
Group has been able to clarify 448 cases over the past five years.
The present report reflects communications and cases examined by the Working
Group during its three sessions in 2011, covering the period 13 November 2010 to 11
November 2011. It includes, in annex I, sections on 95 States and territories; the Working
Group’s latest general comment on the right to recognition as a person before the law in the
context of enforced disappearance; and the Working Group’s revised methods of work.



The annexes to the present report are circulated as received, in the languages of submission
Late submission.

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