UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance:
Bern, 19.12.2012 - Earlier today, the Federal Council initiated the consultation procedure on the ratification of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The consultation procedure will run until 8 April 2013. The Convention requires the States Parties to prohibit enforced disappearance regardless of the circumstances and to make this offence punishable by appropriate penalties.
"Enforced disappearance" refers to deprivations of liberty by a State or with its acquiescence. Enforced disappearances are often accompanied by the concealment of the fate of the disappeared person and not infrequently also by their torture or killing. Enforced disappearance is a global reality. In the last 20 years, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has reported more than 50,000 suspected cases of enforced disappearance in all parts the world.
The Convention of 21 December 2006 requires States Parties to prohibit enforced disappearance regardless of the circumstances and to make this offence punishable by appropriate penalties. More than 90 States have already signed the Convention, and 36 have ratified it. The latter include Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands in addition to several Latin American States.
International efforts to ensure the prevention and consistent punishment of enforced disappearance deserve Switzerland's support. For this reason, Switzerland signed the Convention on 19 January 2011.
The Swiss legal system already meets the main objective of the Convention. To implement the Convention at the national level, however, legislative changes are necessary in some areas. On the one hand, a new criminal offence is to be created which will make enforced disappearance a separate punishable crime. On the other hand, measures are being proposed to ensure communication between the Confederation and the cantons in suspected cases of enforced disappearance.
For further information:
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