Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

About the mandate

One of the Working Group's primary tasks is to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. In that humanitarian capacity, the Working Group serves as a channel of communication between family members of victims of enforced disappearance and other sources reporting cases of disappearances, and the Governments concerned.


To achieve this, the Group:

  • receives, examines and transmits to Governments reports of enforced disappearances submitted by relatives of disappeared persons or human rights organizations acting on their behalf;
  • requests Governments to carry out investigations and to inform the Working Group of the results;
  • follows up those requests of information on a periodic basis;
  • has a preventive role, by assisting States in overcoming obstacles to the realization of the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. This is done both while carrying out country visits and by providing advisory services, when requested.

The most recent resolution renewing the mandate of the Working Group, A/HRC/RES/45/3, was adopted by the Human Rights Council in October 2020.

About the members

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation. Together, they investigate individual cases and produce reports and opinions in order to fulfil the mandate. They meet three times a year in Geneva.

More on the members of the Working Group.

Key documents

WGEID and CED – Key Guidelines on COVID-19 and Enforced Disappearances

Fact Sheet no. 6 Rev.3 - Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français l | Русский | Español

Revised methods of work of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, adopted on 7 February 2014

Flyer on WGEID’s procedures
PDF: English

Latest reports

Annual report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: This report reflects the activities of and communications and cases examined by the WGEID from 23 May 2019 to 15 May 2020. During the reporting period, 205 cases were clarified. View report page | View document A/HRC/45/13

Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on standards and public policies for an effective investigation of enforced disappearances: In this report, the Working Group draws the attention of the international community to impunity as a distinctive trait of enforced disappearances. It continues to observe alarming patterns of impunity, both in relation to past acts of enforced disappearance and to new disappearances occurring across the world. View report page | View document A/HRC/45/13/Add.3

Country visits

Mission to Tajikistan (1 to 5 July 2019)
View document A/HRC/45/13/Add.1
Press release in English | Tajik

Mission to Kyrgyzstan (25 to 30 June 2019)
View document A/HRC/45/13/Add.2

Press release in English | Kyrgyz | Russian

Latest News


More press releases and statements... 

Archived news
(over 3 years old) 

Activities

CED and WGEID joint webinars on search and investigation of enforced disappearances (Part I and Part II)
23 September 2020

WGEID comments to the draft articles on Crimes Against Humanity
3 December 2018

Videos

Briefing by Bernard Duhaime, member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, on the situation in the Middle East (Syria).
15 March 2021
Watch on UN Web TV

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: What does it do?
September 11, 2019
Watch on Vimeo

Interview with Houria Es-Slami, member of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary disappearances on Medi 1 TV Afrique (French)
23 Oct 2018
Watch on YouTube