Enforced Disappearances in International Human Rights

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About the Book

It was from Argentina, in the years 1976 to 1983, that the world heard the cries of the families of los desaparecidos, the disappeared—20,000 to 30,000 people made to vanish forever by official sleight of hand. In the years since, the scope and range of governmentally sanctioned kidnappings has spread exponentially, making enforced disappearances a truly global problem.
This volume provides an in-depth legal investigation of involuntary disappearances as defined by national and international law. Beginning with a detailed discussion of what constitutes an enforced disappearance, it goes on to consider how various international organizations such as the United Nations view this problem. Using the Multiple Rights Approach, enforced disappearances are examined as a violation of internationally defined basic rights such as the right to personal freedom, the right to protection against torture and the right to a judicial remedy. Viewpoints of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the European System of Protection are scrutinized with special consideration regarding the international laws applicable to the problem. The availability (or lack thereof) of restitution and compensation for material damage, mental and physical anguish, and loss of opportunity is also addressed. Finally, the work considers the need for a comprehensive and coherent framework when dealing with enforced disappearances.

About the Author(s)

Independent legal counselor and lecturer María Fernanda Pérez Solla lives in Luxembourg, Austria.

Bibliographic Details

María Fernanda Pérez Solla
Foreword by Manfred Nowak
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2325-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1025-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Manfred Nowak      1
Preface      3
List of Abbreviations      5
1. The Notion of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances      7
2. The Rights Violated      32
3. The Right to Life      42
4. The Right to Liberty and Security of the Person      56
5. The Right to Humane Treatment      68
6. The Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law      86
7. The Right to Know the Truth      91
8. Specific Questions Related to Children’s Rights      102
9. The Right to a Remedy (I): Access to Justice      108
10. The Right to a Remedy (II): Reparation to Victims of Enforced Disappearances      135
11. The Right to a Remedy (III): Access to Factual Information Concerning the Violations      182
12. Conclusions: The Need for a Comprehensive and Coherent Framework of Prevention and Protection in Cases of Enforced Disappearances      187
Notes      203
Bibliography      225
Index      239