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The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (Disappearances Convention) defines the act of enforcedly disappearing a person as a human rights violation under international law. The Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2006 and entered into force on 23 December 2010. As of January 2012, it had been ratified by 31 countries. The Convention defines an enforced disappearance as, the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law;5 and states that there are no exceptional circumstances which may be invoked as justification for perpetrating an enforced disappearance.6 The Disappearances Convention requires state parties to define enforced disappearance as a criminal offence.7 It affirms that no person shall be held in secret detention and sets out detailed legislative requirements in regard to deprivation of liberty.8 The Convention requires state parties to bring to justice those responsible for enforced disappearances, including those who ordered or had knowledge that subordinates were committing the crime.9 The Convention requires state parties to promptly and impartiality investigate complaints related to enforced disappearances, even where there has been no formal complaint, and to ensure the complainant, witnesses and relatives of the disappeared are protected from ill-treatment or intimidation.10 The Convention guarantees victims’ rights. It defines victims to include anyone who has suffered harm as a direct result of an enforced disappearance. It includes the right to truth, as well as the right to reparations including compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of nonrepetition.11 The Rome Statute, establishing the International Criminal Court, further includes enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity, when it is carried out as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.12 While Thailand has not ratified the Disappearances Convention enforced disappearances usually involve the violation of several human rights contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Disappearances Convention, Article 2. Disappearances Convention, Article 1. 7 Disappearances Convention, Article 4. 8 Disappearances Convention, Article 17. 9 Disappearances Convention, Article 3 and 6. 10 Disappearances Convention, Article 12. 11 Disappearances Convention, Article 24. 12 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7(i). 5 6

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand  

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand

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