Missing Persons and Victims of Enforced Disappearance in Europe

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2016

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

“Families of missing persons and direct victims of enforced disappearance have a right to know the truth, and must receive adequate support, assistance, and reparation.

This Issue Paper provides an overview of the situation in a number of Council of Europe member states. It also focuses on the major international and European standards and mechanisms active in this field and highlights the case law of the UN Human Rights Committee and of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The Commissioner for Human Rights proposes a set of recommendations which may help governments improve their law and practice. They focus on: direct victims and their families; enhancement of processes of exhumation and identification; support to mechanisms working on missing persons and enforced disappearances; training of public officials; truth-seeking initiatives; access to information and archives; the strengthening of domestic legislation; effective investigations and eradication of impunity; and promotion and implementation of relevant international and European standards.”