The problem of enforced disappearances of people acquired global scales for the last decades. More and more facts of abductions, unfounded detentions and arrests are fixed. Meanwhile, a precise number of victims is difficult to be identified, as facts of disappearances are not always documented, and the circumstances of what happened can be unknown for certain. According to the official data of the United Nations Organization (UN), more than 10 thousand people are suffered from involuntary disappearance every year. At the same time, human rights organizations estimate that from 5 to 8 million people (including children) are on the list of missing people every year.
The UN General Assembly announced the 30th of August the International Day of the victims of enforced disappearances to draw the attention of the community to this theme. The appropriate resolution was signed on 21 December 2010. It is not only the memorable date but also the way of supporting key international legal acts, aimed at fighting with such kind of offences. Such documents are Declaration on the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances (adopted by the resolution of the UN General Assembly from 18 December 1992) and International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances (adopted by the resolution of the UN General Assembly from 20 December 2006).
According to the Organization, it is not a rare phenomenon that abductions, illegal arrests and detentions have become a part of the strategy of the imposition of the atmosphere of terror in the community. Such offences heretofore were associated only with the regime of military dictatorship, but now they occur in the course of internal conflicts (especially as a mean of political pressure of opponents). People are detained with the aim of blackmailing, threatening or ransom.
Unfortunately, such offences are massively fixed during the armed conflict on Donbas. According to the data of the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic, on 28 August 2020, 362 people are on the list of missing people as a result of armed actions.
It is significant to note that the basic human rights may be severely violated because of enforced disappearance:
- right to life;
- right to liberty and security;
- right not to be tortured or not to be subjected to other cruel, inhuman or humiliating treatment or punishments;
- right for a fair trial or for judicial guarantees;
- right to an effective remedy, including reparation and compensation.
The UN Organization highlights that not only detained person suffers but also his/her loved ones do. Families, in which this trouble has gone, suffer from psychological shock, material losses.
The Organization invokes all states to make a greater effort for the prevention of enforced disappearances and bringing perpetrators to justice.