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Switzerland must promptly sign the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances

06.02.2009 ( Last modified: 17.07.2017 )

Two years have already passed – without results

It has been exactly two years since the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance opened for signature in Paris, but Switzerland had yet to sign this important human rights instrument.

Today, the Swiss Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a group of a dozen Swiss non-profit human rights organizations currently headed by TRIAL, sent a letter to the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs and the Federal Department of Justice and Police deploring the fact that no efforts have been made to sign the Convention. Indeed, the Federal Council will need to update legislation before Parliament can approve the Convention and integrate it into the Swiss legal system. These steps do not seem to be a priority for the Swiss government at this time.

The Coalition has already addressed the federal government on three previous occasions (in January and August 2007 as well as in August 2008) to insist that Switzerland take all the necessary steps to become one of the first twenty States to ratify the convention (the number of ratifications required for the Convention to enter into force). As of today, 81 States have signed the Convention but only 8 have ratified it (Albania, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, France, Honduras, Mexico and Senegal).

The federal government is again asked to promptly sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance and to begin the ratification process without any undue delay.

A similar call to action was recently submitted to the Swiss National Council. The text of this petition may be found here (in French and German).

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