New Law Bans ‘Enforced Disappearances’

A new law criminalizing enforced disappearances in the Philippines is the first of its kind in Asia and a major milestone in ending a horrific human rights violation, hailed Human Rights Watch. President Acquino signed the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, which closely reflects international legal standards on enforced disappearance, or the detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the detention or to reveal the person’s fate or whereabouts. People held in secret are especially vulnerable to torture and other abuses, and their families suffer from lack of information.