The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, drawn up in 2006, is the latest central UN human rights convention. It enters into force on 23 December 2010. Each and every enforced disappearance is considered an unjustifiable violation of human rights. In total, over 52,000 individual cases from more than 90 countries have been referred to the responsible UN working group, which has been active in this area since 1980. Over 42,000 of those cases remain unresolved today.
Motions at National Council level have called for the Convention to be signed, and then ratified, as quickly as possible. In addition, on 1 March 2010 several members of Parliament and representatives of non-governmental organizations handed over a 9,000-signature-strong petition to the Federal Council, demanding immediate accession to the Convention.
The Swiss legal system already satisfies the central point of the Convention – zero tolerance toward cases of enforced disappearance. Many changes to the law will nonetheless be required to meet the Convention's requirements in full. The FDFA is currently working together with the FDJP on drafting a Dispatch to Parliament in which the question will be considered whether certain reservations should be added when ratifying the Convention that would take into consideration the concerns of the cantons.
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