The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will hold its session in Brussels

Minister Reynders welcomes the Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances which is meeting upon his invitation today in Brussels. In the fight against impunity, this monitoring mechanism - composed of five independent human rights experts - is still very much needed. The group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures, which can be considered as the eyes and ears of the UN Human Rights Council of which Belgium is a member. By supporting this entity we point out that we are in favour of an effective monitoring mechanisms and that we support the independence and integrity of the experts. The session in Brussels will allow the working group to network on Belgian and European level, and put its activities on display. 

Throughout the week the working group will examine more than 800 cases of enforced disappearances in 47 countries. The group will also meet relatives of missing persons. Investigating and prosecuting perpetrators, as well as protecting the victims and their families falls within the scope of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Belgium has ratified this Treaty in 2011 and calls upon all countries who have not yet done so, to ratify as well.