Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: Addendum - Follow-up report to the recommendations made by the Working Group, Missions to Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (A/HRC/39/46/Add.2)
This document contains information supplied by Governments, authorities, civil society and other stakeholders, relating to the follow-up measures to the recommendations made by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, following its visits. In paragraph 7 a) of its Resolution 7/12, the Human Rights Council requested Governments that have accepted visits “to give all necessary attention to the Working Group’s recommendations” and invited them to inform the Working Group of “any action they take on those recommendations”. The Human Rights council reiterates this request in paragraph 16 a) of its Resolution 21/4. Resolution 27/1 renews the mandate of the Working Group in conformity with the terms set forth in Human Rights Council resolution 7/12.
The Working Group decided in 2010 to adopt the present format to its follow-up reports with the aim of rendering it reader-friendly and of facilitating the identification of concrete steps taken in response to the specific recommendations and to reflect the opinions of the different actors involved in the process. For this reason, follow-up tables have been created. The tables contain the recommendations of the Working Group, a brief description of the situation when the visit was undertaken, an overview of the steps taken on the basis of the information gathered by the Working Group both from governmental, nongovernmental and other sources1, and the observations of the Working Group on the level of implementation of the recommendations.
The Working Group continues to offer its assistance to the Governments and authorities that have received a visit to comply with the recommendations made and stands ready to assist them in their efforts to prevent and combat the heinous crime of enforced disappearance.
II. Regional recommendations
The Working Group:
Notes that little progress has been made vis-à-vis its recommendations to Governments and authorities at regional level to depoliticize the issue of missing persons and treat it as a human rights and humanitarian issue.
While with some differences, the contributions received generally confirm that much of the impasse surrounding the issue depends on a deliberate choice not to share relevant information with the counterparts or to share it only when some other information is received in exchange. This not only affects the right to truth of the victims and their relatives, but also the right to justice.
Recalls that concrete results on the issue of missing persons in the region can only be achieved through sincere and transparent cooperation among all concerned stakeholders and a depoliticization of the matter.
Notes that more efforts should be made to fully implement the “Declaration on the Role of the State in Addressing the Issue of Persons Missing as a Consequence of Armed Conflict and Human Rights Abuses”, notably when it comes to its article 7 related to the prosecution of war crimes.
Notes the efforts that have been made to address past misidentifications, while emphasizing that this is an issue that needs to be tackled at regional level.
Regrets that access to archives and disclosure of relevant information on cases of enforced disappearances remain problematic.
On a positive note, in relation to the recommended creation of a regional list of disappeared persons, the Working Group welcomes the creation of the Regional Database of “Active Missing-Persons Cases from the Armed Conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia” with the support of the International Commission of Missing Persons (ICMP) and the participation and support of Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.