An official website of the United States government

Interactive Dialogue with Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
September 19, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As delivered by Taylor Westfall

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

The United States thanks the Working Group for its work.

We are deeply concerned about reports of enforced disappearances around the world.

In the People’s Republic of China, numerous human rights defenders, members of ethnic and religious minority groups, and others have been forcibly disappeared for alleged infractions.

The PRC goes so far as to reach beyond its borders to abduct individuals or coerce governments to forcibly return them to China where they are subsequently disappeared. These are tools of transnational repression, a deeply concerning trend for human rights and national sovereignty.

We are also troubled by continued reports of enforced disappearances in Mexico. According to the National Search Commission, there are over 111,000 disappeared or missing persons in Mexico.

We applaud Mexico’s efforts to address the disappearance crisis through legislation, the establishment of a National Forensic Data Bank, the creation of a National Search Commission, and efforts by state and federal prosecutors to reduce impunity. We will continue to work with government authorities at all levels and civil society in Mexico to address remaining challenges.

How is the Working Group engaging on cases where access to officials and victims is nearly impossible? I thank you.