Sri Lanka should move to enact laws to criminalise enforced disappearances now that the island has signed an international United Nations convention, the UN envoy in Colombo said.
The new government is taking steps towards fulfilling Sri Lanka’s reporting obligations under several UN treaties, said Subinay Nandy, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka.
In 2015, Sri Lanka submitted a number of periodic reports, including the report due under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was prepared with the support of the UN, he said at an event to mark President Maithripala Sirisena’s first year in office.
“We look forward to continuing to support you to fulfill outstanding treaty obligations,” Nandy said.
He noted that the new government has “engaged widely with the international human rights architecture”, and that it was encouraging to see Sri Lanka sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
“It will now be important to move swiftly forward with ratifying the Convention and introducing national laws to criminalise enforced disappearances,” Nandy said.
The Convention, which entered into force in 2010, provides a framework for fighting impunity, protecting disappeared persons and their families and strengthening the guarantees provided by the rule of law — including investigation, prosecution, justice and reparation.
As of 2014, a total of 43,250 cases from 88 countries were under active consideration by the UN.
Asia has the highest number of cases reported to the UN with at least 8,000 in Kashmir and 5,676 in Sri Lanka. (Colombo/January 08, 2016)