The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is expected to visit Tajikistan between June 30 – July 5, according to the UN News Center.

The experts will gather information on the situation of enforced disappearance in the country and study measures adopted to prevent and eradicate it, including issues related to legislation, practice and public policies in the areas of truth, justice and reparation.

The delegation – comprising of the Chair Mr. Bernard Duhaime and Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius – will visit Dushanbe with field visits to other parts of the country.

The Working Group will meet state officials, relatives of people who may have disappeared, representatives of civil society organizations, relevant UN agencies, and other stakeholders.

At the end of the visit, the delegation will hold a news conference in Dushanbe on July 5.

Meanwhile, the Working Group arrived in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek today for similar visit.  In Kyrgyzstan, the Working Group member will stay until January 30.  They are expected to hold a news conference in Bishkek on June 28.       

A final report on the visits will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2020.

The Working Group on enforced and involuntary disappearances is one of the thematic special procedures overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Its central purpose is to help the relatives of disappeared persons ascertain the whereabouts of their disappeared family members.  The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions around the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Bernard Duhaime (Canada) and the Vice-Chair is Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Republic of Korea); other members are Ms. Houria Es-Slami (Morocco), Mr. Luciano Hazan (Argentina) and Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius (Lithuania).

The Working Group was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives.  It endeavors to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of people who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law.  In view of the Working Group’s humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person is clearly established.  The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved. It also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.