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Interactive Dialogue with Working Group on Enforced Disappearances
September 20, 2022

Interactive Dialogue with Working Group on Enforced Disappearances

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As delivered by Jennifer Glaudemans

Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

Enforced disappearances deny victims and their families enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized for all individuals.  The United States looks to governments to ensure human rights defenders, political activists, and journalists who strive to shine a light on abuses, despite risks to their safety, do not face enforced disappearances.

In Syria, the Assad regime has widely used enforced disappearances to spread fear, stifle dissent, and as punishment, disappearing tens of thousands since 2011.

In Iran, we are concerned by reports of enforced disappearances of members of the Baha’i community.

In the Kremlin’s unwarranted and unprovoked war against Ukraine, Russian forces are reported to have committed enforced disappearances on an unimaginable scale, among a range of other atrocities and abuses.  Credible reports also continue of enforced disappearances in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya.

The High Commissioner’s independent report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang highlights that approximately two-thirds of the outstanding cases on China of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances pertain to Xinjiang and that these enforced disappearances are a direct consequence of detention and forced labor programs.

We continue to condemn enforced disappearances as violations of human rights and call on governments to conduct transparent, independent investigations which lead to accountability.

We kindly as the Working Group what accountability measures can we put in place to better protect civil society actors from the threat of enforced disappearance?

I thank you.