Building good practices to fight enforced disappearances

04.02.2019 ( Last modified: 22.02.2019 )

TRIAL and a partner NGO submitted to the UN a set of learned lessons and recommendations based on their experience in Mexico. The purpose is to establish standards and policies towards more efficient investigations on enforced disappearances

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is a United Nations organ assisting families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their relatives who are reportedly disappeared. While it usually looks into specific countries or situations, it has embarked on an overarching study on Standards and public policies for an effective investigation of enforced disappearances.

As a long-standing interlocutor of the Working Group, TRIAL International submitted a contribution on the topic, in cooperation with the Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho. The report uses the example of Mexico to outlinea set of good practices and recommendations, which could be extended to different contexts.


Among other areas, the report calls for a broad understanding of the State’s obligation to investigate enforced disappearances; a participative approach to investigations involving the victims’ relatives at all stages of the process; transnational efforts and policies to facilitate searches and investigations; specialized forensic units equipped with sufficient means and operative independence; and clarity in the institutional actors’ mandate and areas of competence.

Read the full report (in Spanish)

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