CED/C/GC/1 United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Distr.: General 26 October 2023 Original: English Committee on Enforced Disappearances General comment No. 1 (2023) on enforced disappearance in the context of migration* I. Introduction 1. For the purposes of the present general comment, the term “migrants” is used to refer to persons who move away from their place of usual residence, whether within a country or across an international border, temporarily or permanently, and for a variety of reasons,1 such as family reunification or moving away from international or non-international armed conflicts, persecution, discrimination, natural disasters, environmental degradation, the effects of climate change, difficult economic situations or high crime rates. Numbers of migrants worldwide remain high.2 2. Migrants are in situations of particular vulnerability, which may arise from their personal characteristics or socioeconomic status, the circumstances in which they travel – including their undocumented status and language barriers – or the treatment or conditions that they face in countries of origin, transit and destination, including border areas.3 The universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times. 4 Although States have a sovereign prerogative to manage their borders and regulate access to their territories, they must do so in full compliance with their obligations under international law, 5 in particular human rights law, international humanitarian law, international refugee law and the law of the sea. 3. Already in a situation of vulnerability and faced with restrictive immigration policies and dehumanizing border governance tactics,6 thousands of migrants die, disappear or go missing each year, leading to humanitarian crises in many regions of the world.7 The issue is a high priority at the international level. In its resolution 74/148 on the protection of migrants, the General Assembly called for international cooperation to save lives, prevent the deaths of and injuries to migrants and identify migrants who have died or gone missing. The objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, adopted in 2018, * Adopted by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session (11–29 September 2023). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 International Organization for Migration (IOM), “IOM definition of ‘migrant’”. A/76/642, para. 11. See also IOM, Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, “International migrant stocks”, Migration Data Portal. Available at https://www.migrationdataportal.org/themes/international-migrant-stocks. Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, objective 7. See also the Guiding Principles for the Search for Disappeared Persons (CED/C/7, annex), principle 9; and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Guidelines on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances in Africa (2022), para. 1.3.2. Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, para. 4. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, general recommendation No. 38 (2020) on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration, para. 23. A/HRC/50/31, para. 24. See also CED/C/GRC/CO/1, para. 28; CED/C/MEX/VR/1 (Findings), para. 20; and CED/C/MEX/VR/1 (Recommendations), paras. 39–42. A/72/335, para. 1. GE.23-19531 (E) 251023 261023

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