The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is an annual commemoration day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives.
The observance of the International Day of the Disappeared was started by the Latin American Federation of Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM) based in Costa Rica, in 1982. The tradition has been adopted by many human rights advocates worldwide.
The Convention defines “enforced disappearance” as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
Article 1 of the Convention states that:
“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.”
The Convention obliges State parties to enact legislations criminalizing enforced disappearance. It states that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.
The Convention also deems the widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity.
On August 30 2008 different events are organised by the families of victims all over the world to commemorate the disappeared. On this day, the iCAED calls on governments to sign and ratify the Convention.