Without a trace
No doubt most of us will be looking forward to spending time with friends and family at some stage over this weekend, especially as it’s the last bank holiday weekend of the year before Christmas. But for thousands of men, women and children around the world, this weekend marks a more poignant and painful occasion.
Sunday 30 August is the International Day of the Disappeared – commemorating the thousands of people who have been vanished without a trace, abducted often by state agents and held in secret detention, often never to be seen again.
Enforced disappearance is a dreadful human rights violation practice which unfortunately occurs in countries all around the world. Amnesty International has documented cases from El Salvador, Chechnya, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
A UN Convention to help put an end to this dreadful human rights violation is currently being set up. It would be the first legally enforceable treaty that would prosecute anyone who commits this crime, enabling victims and their families to get justice for the first time.
So far, the UK Government is one of only two western European states not to have signed the Convention, despite helping to draft it. We’re calling on the UK Government to not delay any longer in signing this treaty.
Yesterday, Amnesty staged a protest outside the Houses of Parliament with four invisible protestors, who were representing the thousands of people around the world who are disappeared. We’ll continue our call on the government over the weekend to sign the UN Convention as quickly as possible. You can help take action – either by writing to the Justice Minister or changing your avatar on Facebook on the day of the disappeared. Find out more here
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.