International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 30 August


International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
30 August

“On this solemn day, I reiterate in the strongest possible terms that under international law, no one should be kept in secret detention. … Enforced disappearance is a practice that cannot be tolerated in the 21st Century.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Many victims of enforced disappearances remain in nameless graves. Credit: OHCHR

Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.

Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents. Of particular concern are:

  • the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance;
  • the use by States of counter-terrorist activities as an excuse for breaching their obligations;
  • and the still widespread impunity for enforced disappearance.

Special attention must also be paid to specific groups of especially vulnerable people, like children and people with disabilities.

On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern, in particular, by the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

By the same resolution the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011.

 

TAKE ACTION: Call for entries for PeaceCast 2014 to be aired on September 21


CSSF:

TAKE ACTION: Call for entries for PeaceCast 2014 to be aired on September 21

PeaceCast will air its 3rd worldwide webcast, PEACECAST 2014, on the U.N. International Day of Peace, September 21. PeaceCast is a platform that presents expressions of peace from around the world, and we invite you and your colleagues to be a part of it.

Originally posted on PAX CHRISTI USA:

PeaceCast will air its 3rd worldwide webcast, PEACECAST 2014, on the U.N. International Day of Peace, September 21. PeaceCast is a platform that presents expressions of peace from around the world, and we invite you and your colleagues to be a part of it. Send us a video about peace – news, music, culture, poetry, dance, animation, spoken word, public service, documentary – whatever speaks your peace. Watch this video for more information or visit http://www.peacecast.tv/.

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REFLECTION: Making bad situations worse in the Middle East


CSSF:

REFLECTION: Making bad situations worse in the Middle East

Originally posted on PAX CHRISTI USA:

Tony Maglianoby Tony Magliano

The heart wrenching tragedies throughout the Middle East are not the United States’ fault, that is, at least not entirely.

The fact that many Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims distrust each other, that the Allies established artificial national boundaries to suite their interests after World War I, and that ruthless dictators past and present have often oppressed their people are major reasons why much of the Middle East is broken and bleeding.  

But the U.S. has made several bad situations in the Middle East far worse.

Iraqi sisters look over the damage at a church in northern Iraq.

Iraqi sisters look over the damage at a church in northern Iraq.

In Egypt, according to the Congressional Research Service, since 1987 the U.S. has given that nation $1.3 billion per year in military aid despite the fact that it was long ruled by the dictator Hosni Mubarak.  

Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, its refusal…

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STATEMENT: PC International member organizations on the crisis in northern Iraq


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STATEMENT: PC International member organizations on the crisis in northern Iraq

Originally posted on PAX CHRISTI USA:

pcilogonewfrom Pax Christi International

On Thursday 14 August, Pax Christi Member Organisations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have sent letters to their Ministers of Foreign Affairs calling for an immediate action to safeguard the right of life of all vulnerable populations in Northern Iraq.

IraqCrisis-smallPax Christi members are extremely concerned with shocking reports of displacement of peoples and mass slaughter threatened by the self-proclaimed Islamic State against numerous minority groups in Iraq. The news coming from the country is horrendous: thousands of people, mostly minority groups including Christians, Yazidis, Shabak and Turkmen have been brutally driven from their homes; innocent children, women and men are suffering violence of every kind. The ongoing conflict has already displaced some 1.2 million people, mostly minority communities who have fled the northwest of Iraq.

Pax Christi Member Organisations made an appeal on…

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