11 April 2019
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances today concluded its consideration of the initial report of Peru on how that country is implementing the provisions of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Daniel Sánchez Velásquez, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, presenting the report, recalled that between 1980 and 2000, Peru had suffered a period of violence during which enforced disappearance was practiced. Peru had achieved significant progress, Mr. Sánchez Velásquez assured. The definition of the crime of enforced disappearance was included in the Peruvian domestic laws. Special judicial bodies had been created and decrees had been adopted to strengthen the ability of the Public Prosecutor to investigate enforced disappearances. In that context, the State sought to provide responses that dealt with the complexity of the problems that families of victims were facing. A law which was recently adopted ensured that searches of victims of enforced disappearances were conducted with a humanitarian approach. As of April 2019, the Government had conducted 403 humanitarian investigations, 15 joint interventions with the Prosecutor’s Office and returned 22 bodies to families of victims of enforced disappearances.
In the discussion that followed, Committee Experts stressed that article 1 of the Convention expressed a binding prohibition of enforced disappearances. While the Committee understood that Peru respected this principle, Peruvian law did not explicitly prohibit enforced disappearances in a manner that prevented derogations. There were no explicit references to the prohibition of enforced disappearances in legal and constitutional texts. They also asked the delegation to submit in writing responses to the questions about the disaggregated data. What was at issue there was not so much the accuracy of this or that figure, but rather the kind of bodies that were recording these crimes, and how it was being done. The Experts pointed out that the report outlined a list of mitigating circumstances, but did not include all those included in the Convention. The same went for aggravating circumstances.
In his concluding remarks, Rainer Huhle, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said there had been great strides made in Peru to tackle the issues that stemmed from the years of violence. He commended the good will to move forward displayed by the delegation. Without anticipating the Committee's recommendations, he assured that they would be strictly based on the Convention. Some of the solutions discussed during the review could help address the pending issues. He hoped that some of them would become State policy.
Mr. Sánchez Velásquez thanked his colleagues in Lima who were following the proceedings and helping the delegation provide answers to the Co-Rapporteurs’ questions. The discussion with the Committee and the recommendations would help strengthen the work being done in Peru to ensure protection from enforced disappearances. Peru had an unwavering State policy to promote and protect human rights. Since the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Peru had been moving towards the full realization of the rights to truth, justice and non-repetition. The delegation had given an honest presentation, mindful of its progress and the work that remained to be done.
Suela Janina, Committee Chairperson, said the Committee had been pleased to discuss Peru’s achievements and challenges with the delegation to improve the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. She thanked all those who had participated in the meeting, whether they were present in Geneva or were following the proceedings from abroad.
The delegation of Chile consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Supreme Court, the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, and representatives of the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The Committee will issue the concluding observations and recommendations on the report of Peru at the end of its sixteenth session on 18 April. Those and other documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/.
The Committee will next meet in public at 10 a.m. on Monday, 15 April 2019 to meet with Member States, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations.
The Committee has before it the initial report of Peru (CED/C/PER/1) as well as its replies to the list of issues (CED/C/PER/Q/1/Add.1).
Presentation of the Report
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, presenting the report, said that between 1980 and 2000, Peru had suffered a period of violence during which enforced disappearance had been practiced. A Commission on Truth and Reconciliation had been put in place after that, and Peru was today ready to do all it could to shed light on enforced disappearances and fight crimes. At the time when the report was drafted, the State did not have the opportunity to involve civil society organizations and victims’ families in its preparation. This had been rectified since then: six meetings had taken place with family associations, and the presentation that he was giving to the Committee took into consideration reports prepared by civil society organizations. Likewise, the Committee’s recommendations would be followed up upon in a participatory manner.
By the end of the month, the Government of Peru would have financially compensated 18,352 families as part of its programme on financial reparations. It also sought to improve its work on prevention by providing training to legal practitioners, members of the armed forces, policemen and other law enforcement agents in both the private and public sectors.
Peru had achieved significant progress, Mr. Sánchez Velásquez assured. The definition of the crime of enforced disappearance was included in Peruvian domestic laws. Special judicial bodies had been created and decrees adopted to strengthen the Public Prosecutor’s ability to investigate enforced disappearances. In that context, the State also sought to provide responses that dealt with the complexity of the problems that families of victims were facing. A law which was recently adopted ensured that searches for victims of enforced disappearances were conducted with a humanitarian approach. As of April 2019, the Government had conducted 403 humanitarian investigations, held 15 joint interventions with the Public Prosecutor, and returned 22 bodies to families of victims of enforced disappearances. Furthermore, the Government had moved forward with a national plan for the search of persons disappeared between 1980 and 2000, as well as the implementation of a national registry of victims of enforced disappearances and burial sites. As of March 2019, the unified victim registry included 9,219 persons and 20,804 family members. A total of $ 21 million in remedies had been given out to 18,352 families of victims of enforced disappearances. A genetic database had been created to contribute to the identification of remains.
In 2017, the criminal definition of enforced disappearance was amended in the Peruvian penal code to ensure a more effective punishment of this crime. This also gave legal practitioners more latitude when they were adjudicating. The Peruvian criminal code classified enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity, and criminalised it in any circumstances, he added.
Peru was mindful of the challenges it faced, Mr. Sánchez Velásquez said, reiterating the country’s commitment to ensuring effective protection from acts of enforced disappearances. Peru was working on resolving cases of enforced disappearance between 1980 and 2000, but was also committed to preventing this crime permanently. Dialogue and reconciliation were important for building a country that respected and recognized human rights as well as the memory of victims, whether they were civilian or members of the military or the police force.
Questions by the Committee Experts
MARIA CLARA GALVIS PATINO, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, thanked Peru for its contribution to the Committee’s guidelines and principles on the search of the disappeared. Peru was the only country that had ratified article 31 of the Convention, but not article 32, which related to the Committee’s competence to receive and consider inter-State communications. Why was this?
She asked why civil society had not participated in the preparation of the report, and requested the delegation to provide details about the consultation protocol and mechanism that Peru was preparing to foster the participation of civil society.
RAINER HUHLE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said that article 1 of the Convention expressed a binding prohibition of enforced disappearances. While the Committee understood that Peru respected this principle, Peruvian law did not explicitly prohibit enforced disappearances in a manner that prevented derogations. There were no explicit references to the prohibition of enforced disappearances in legal and constitutional texts. He asked what was the Convention’s legal status in domestic Peruvian law. What would happen if the Convention contradicted domestic legislation? Which one would prevail?
On the total number of victims of enforced disappearance, he noted that there was a discrepancy between the figures included in the report and those that the Committee had received from non-governmental organizations. How were the Government’s statistics and data gathered?
Further, the Committee had been informed of over 200 recent complaints related to enforced disappearances. Were these included in the figures that the Government had included in the report? If not, why were these cases not brought to light and investigated earlier?
The Committee did not understand if Peru had an exact figure on enforced disappearances that had taken place since 2000. Could Peru provide examples of cases that had been recorded since 2000?
On article 12, the Committee was surprised and concerned about the small proportion of cases that had led to trials and sentences. How many legal investigations were open in total? How many had led to a sentence? How many of those sentences had led to actual imprisonment? He also asked about the number of procedures that had been stopped and the reasons why they had been stopped.
Did Peru guarantee access to all necessary information to conduct investigations, including information possessed by the military? Did victims receive legal support to be able to make free and informed decisions?
The Committee had been told that the police would sometimes suspend individuals who were suspected of having committed enforced disappearances. Did this happen in practice? When and how were individuals allowed to return to their professional activities, despite being suspected of committing enforced disappearances?
He also asked the delegation to provide information on the measures that were in place to protect witnesses and other people involved in trials. It seemed that family members were not explicitly covered by Peruvian legislation. Did measures exist to protect family members from harassment and psychological abuse by lawyers or judges?
Given the enormous quantity of cases of enforced disappearances, he asked the delegation whether the State considered it had sufficient resources to handle them all. He also enquired about the process through which cases were assigned for investigation.
MARIA CLARA GALVIS PATINO, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said the Committee had concerns about the law 320. She asked if the definition of civil servants outlined therein included all State agents?
Regarding the criminalization of enforced disappearances, article 320 stipulated the minimum sentence was 15 years and the maximum 20 years. However, the report stipulated that the maximum sentence was 30 years. She asked the delegation for clarifications on that matter.
Minimum sentences of six years for enforced disappearances had been handed down in Peru, she said. Did such sentences comply with the Convention, which required that the grave nature of the crime be taken into consideration? She asked if the State would include enforced disappearances in the list of crimes for which pardons would not be possible. When would Peru adopt the proposed legislation which would make enforced disappearance a stand-alone crime and to ensure penalties commensurate to this crime.
She asked for further information on the legal provisions regarding the responsibility of superiors. What would happen if a superior was aware that his or her subordinates were engaged in enforced disappearance but failed to put in place corrective measures? She asked about the measures that were in place to ensure that provisions on superiors’ responsibility were in keeping with all relevant provisions of the Convention.
Another Expert asked if the State had any intention to amend article 320 to bring it in line with the Convention. Peru itself had acknowledged that gaps remained, he said.
Response by the Delegation
Responding to questions and issues raised by the Committee Experts, a delegate reiterated the firm commitment of Peru to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the universal human rights system and regional human rights mechanisms. Peru was sharing the progress it had made with the Committee in a spirit of goodwill. A country without memory was a country with no future, she said. As a State, Peru was willing to listen to the Committee’s questions and receive its valuable recommendations.
Another delegate said international norms had constitutional status in Peru; they were integrated into domestic law as such. As the constitution was the mother law, it had primacy over other laws. Therefore, no state of emergency could lead to the suspension of fundamental rights, with a few exceptions related to freedom. There was no possible scenario where a state of emergency may lead to a court allowing enforced disappearances. In addition, while Peruvian law did not have explicit reference to enforced disappearances, there was no possible scenario where this absence of explicit prohibition might lead to legal commission of enforced disappearances.
The criminal code defined civil servants in a manner which clearly included members of the armed forces. Peruvian laws outlined different sentences for co-offences and aggravated offences, and this could affect the sentence handed down in a trial related to a crime of enforced disappearance.
Another delegate explained that for trials related to enforced disappearances, a programme had been set up to notably provide for the protection of witnesses and other people involved in the judicial proceedings. In that context, a unit was tasked with designing and executing protection measures. In 2019, there were 156 protection units around the country. The services they offered included social, legal and psychological support.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, said that the State was still the ratification of article 32 of the Convention. At the appropriate time, Peru would share the results of its assessment with the Committee.
The inter-institutional protocol that Peru was preparing included steps that would foster dialogue with civil society. It aimed at improving the progress that could be made through the implementation of the treaty bodies’ recommendations. On pardons, he said that in Peru, they were of two kinds of pardons: conventional and humanitarian. There were no exceptions to the humanitarian pardons, as they are related to the health of convicts.
On the national registry, he said that it drew from various registries, notably the unified victims’ registry, the registry of absence due to disappearance, and the national registry of disappeared persons and burial sites. Peru also relied on information obtained from civil society organizations. The State had put in place a number of standards to deal with disappearances based on a broader definition of disappearance—it was not aware of recent cases enforced disappearances per se.
Although Peru had signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it had not included all the crimes associated to it in its criminal code. Steps had been taken to that end, however, he assured
MARIA CLARA GALVIS PATINO, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, asked how, above and beyond the specific cases mentioned by the delegation, could Peru deem a six-year sentence to be in line with the Convention? She also asked about a case where an enforced disappearance was considered a mere abduction.
Regarding pardons, she asked if enforced disappearance could be included in the exceptions to pardons that were not based on humanitarian motives.
She stressed that alignment with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court did not necessarily entail that Peruvian law fully complied with the Convention.
RAINER HUHLE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, asked the delegation to submit in writing responses to the questions about the disaggregated data. What was at issue there was not so much the accuracy of this or that figure, but rather the kind of bodies that were recording these crimes, and how it was being done. That question remained pending. He asked about the 200-odd additional cases that the Committee had heard about from civil society. Were they included in the State’s figures?
He also asked how Peru guaranteed access to all relevant information to legal practitioners. Further information was requested on extrajudicial conciliations and the suspension of public officials, notably members of the military and the police force, from investigations on crimes in which they might have been involved. This latter issue was particularly concerning as it could lead to impunity.
Another Expert said the Rome Statute also included political organization, something that was not in the Convention nor in the American Convention on Human Rights. It would therefore be preferable that the domestic legislation give precedence to the Convention and the American Convention on Human Rights.
Another Expert pointed out that the report outlined a list of mitigating circumstances, but did not include all those included in the Convention. The same went for aggravating circumstances. While praising Peru for ratifying the Rome Statute, he said the State should swiftly streamline its domestic legislation accordingly.
Response by the Delegation
A delegate said that if a crime was committed as a result of a threat against one’s life, it had to be taken into consideration by the judge. However, there could not be extrajudicial responses to criminal offences in Peru, as the law did not allow it. It was simply unimaginable that an extrajudicial conciliation would be allowed for a criminal offence.
Turning to mitigating circumstances, it would be very hard to justify sentences below the minimum, but he acknowledged that in the end it came down to the judge’s interpretation of the law. Sometimes, plea bargaining could lead to lower sentences.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, said the delegation would respond to some of the Committee’s questions in more detail in the days to come. He recalled that the State had recently put in place a process to search for individuals who had been disappeared. The information generated by this process would be included in the national database. Peru still did not know whether the 200-odd additional cases cited by the Rapporteurs were already included in the Government’s database.
Prosecutors now had legal tools to request access to information that was required for a given trial. On pardons, Peru was not considering the inclusion of new provisions that would create additional exceptions.
Turning to the Rome Statute, Mr. Sánchez Velásquez said that, while Peru understood that it had the obligation to integrate these international norms in its domestic legislation, the process was complex.
A delegate apologized for the confusion about the figures provided by Peru. There were 345 legal cases related to enforced disappearances that had taken place between 1980 and 2000. The Public Prosecutor had a unit offering various services to witnesses and people required to participate in trials. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights also offered support to victims during legal proceedings and the Criminal Prosecution Office did the same for alleged perpetrators.
Another delegate recalled that both the Peruvian Constitution and the criminal code established the presumption of innocence, and that judges were neutral, as their responsibility was solely to try the case. Therefore, the entire system treated an individual as innocent until the end of the legal proceedings. This was true for the Peruvian national police and the armed forces too, even though members of these bodies were suspended when they were under investigation for alleged participation in criminal activities such as enforced disappearance.
Turning to access to information, the delegate said there were standards relating to documentary evidence which ensured that any document which the State had under its aegis could be accessed to be used in a prosecutorial trial. The Prosecutor’s Office could request such documents at any time. While there were a few exceptions, these standards required that all classified information be declassified. In sum, there was a comprehensive set of tools guaranteeing access to information for a trial. A judicial observatory had also been put in place, and it would have at its disposal enough resources to play a role in that regard.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, said the bill of law that would incorporate the Rome Statute in domestic law was still being debated in Peru. This process required respecting institutional protocol. The delegation would provide additional information in writing on the legal framework as well as disaggregated data related to missing persons. The delegation did not necessarily have information about all the sentences that were handed down around the country. The judicial observatory - which still had to be strengthened to be able to perform comprehensive monitoring - would be useful to that end. Further, Peru had been working with various domestic bodies to ensure online access to all the trials taking place in the country. The goal was to create a cross-cutting database on trials which would be accessible to all Peruvians.
MARIA CLARA GALVIS PATINO, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said that Peruvian legislation did not comprehensively deal with non-refoulement when individuals might be subjected to enforced disappearances. In that regard, she asked how Peru could ensure compliance with article 16 and what mechanisms were in place to assess the risk that an individual might be subjected to enforced disappearance after being deported.
There seemed to be a contradiction in the information provided to the Committee about the possibility to appeal deportation decisions. It seemed that individuals could be deported before they could appeal the decision. What measures were in place to ensure that individuals’ right to appeal was respected? She also asked for additional information about the protocol related to the use of habeas corpus to avoid deportation.
There had been cases of secret detentions or detentions that were not officially recognized. The Peruvian Constitution allowed for incommunicado detentions. She asked how and when this type of detention was sanctioned. What safeguards were in place to ensure that family members were informed when a person was detained? Did registries include information pursuant to article 17 of the Convention?
Regarding training on human rights, she asked if it happened regularly, and whether it was mandatory to join the armed forces or obtain a promotion.
RAINER HUHLE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said article 24 of the Convention was the most valuable for victims. Concerning the definition of a victim, he said the Convention put forth an inclusive definition that included a broad definition of the family. He noted that in relation to searches, Peruvian law referred to disappeared people with only one restriction, which was time-bound—the disappearance had to have taken place between 1980 and 2000. However, it put forth a definition of the family that was more restrictive. Did the Peruvian definition of the family include lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex relationships and family members?
He pointed out that the Peruvian law seemed to establish two classes of victims. While the definition of victims was inclusive, there was an exclusion stipulated in article 4, which referred to “members of subversive organizations”. In international law, a victim was defined based on the victimizing effect, that was the fact that something external to an individual affected them. This had nothing to do with political activities or opinions. This type of exclusion seemed particular to the Peruvian situation. From an international legal perspective, this exclusion created a host of issues. He asked the delegation if such an exclusion was in keeping with the Convention in Peru’s opinion. If it were the case, what was the legal reasoning undergirding that opinion? The use of the label terrorist was also very worrying, as sometimes people were forced to join organizations like the Shining Path, as the delegation itself had acknowledged.
Turning to reparations, Mr. Huhle asked which criteria were used to reject the applicants to the reparation programme? What was the role of the ombudsman’s office in that context? He noted that a legal support programme existed for members of the armed forces and asked if support was also offered to victims.
Regarding the forensic unit, he asked about guarantees that were in place to ensure it cooperated and worked with other bodies in charge of searches in the most harmonious manner.
Recalling that the Convention was also a preventive instrument, he asked if it would not be necessary to establish an instrument which covered State activities and disappearances that might happen in the future. Perhaps a protocol of action would be useful.
Given that about 10 per cent of the victims of enforced disappearances were minors, Mr. Huhle asked for additional information about these cases. Had there been children born in captivity or abducted? Were some of them victims of forced adoptions?
Another Expert asked for additional information on the oversight that took place once international norms had been incorporated in domestic legislation. The process described by the delegation would generate expectations regarding the review of laws for compliance.
Another Expert asked about the specific training on human rights and enforced disappearances offered to civil servants.
Other Experts expressed concerns about the exclusion for members of subversive organizations. They asked about the criteria used to determine which organizations were deemed subversive, and if in the delegation’s opinion such an exclusion complied with the Convention.
Response by the Delegation
On the strengthening of the forensic team’s work, a delegate said that before a forensic investigation was carried out in a dangerous area, the forensic team coordinated with the prosecutor responsible for the investigation to ensure proper preparation, notably as regards security risks. This aimed to maximize the forensic abilities. Measures were also in place to decentralize the forensic work. The national directorate of the legal and medical forensic institutes was preparing a report to broaden the forensic work in certain regions. In collaboration with the Public Prosecutor, it would put in place a plan to use forensic genetics techniques, amongst others, to identify remains that could not be identified with traditional forensic and anthropological methods.
Turning to extraditions, another delegate said a person who had committed a crime could only be extradited if certain conditions were met. For instance, extraditions were refused when there was a suspicion on the part of the State that the person would be submitted to cruel or inhuman treatment. The criminal code also forbade extradition if there was a risk that the individual to be extradited could face the death penalty. The risk of being subjected to enforced disappearance could also be considered a valid reason to halt an extradition.
Another delegate said the school of public prosecutors had trained 414 members of judicial bodies and the Prosecutor’s Office on national legislation and international norms on enforced disappearances and other crimes against humanity between 2015 and 2018. Further, the Ministry of Health had rolled out a training programme to strengthen psychosocial support provided to victims of the violence that took place between 1980 and 2000. The High Level Multi-Sectoral Commission had adopted guidelines to address the specific needs of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex persons through differentiated actions and specific strategies. Peru firmly believed that education and training in human rights could help prevent further violations and better investigate and address enforced disappearances. The Peruvian State would continue to work to achieve this goal.
Another delegate said bodies such as the Red Cross had access to detention centres and members of the diplomatic corps had access to detainees. The Constitutional Court had determined that international human rights treaties had a constitutional rank and could not be contradicted or waived by domestic laws. That was why there was no need to integrate the provisions of the Convention into domestic laws as they had primacy. It was obligatory that domestic laws be interpreted in harmony with relevant international norms as well as the State’s international commitments related to human rights. It was absolutely clear that international law was superior concerning human rights. In the recent past, decisions of the Peruvian military courts had been invalidated because they had failed to abide by these principles.
Concerning terrorism, if someone was prosecuted for terrorism, members of their family could not be convicted without having been tried separately.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, said there were no clandestine detention centres in Peru. Transfers of detainees were done for domestic security reasons. Family members were apprised of such transfers and the relevant information was added to the national database on detentions.
On victims, he said the reparation process sought to achieve reconciliation in addition to providing reparations. The body that was responsible for carrying out the evaluation that could lead to the exclusion of people claiming to be victims was comprised of various types of individuals, including victims. It relied on a variety of sources to make its decisions. For instance, in a case where a State agent had been clearly involved in violations of human rights, it had decided that that person could not be included in the registry of victims and should therefore be excluded from the reconciliation process. An individual who considered herself or himself to be a victim’s family member and who was a member of a terrorist organization could benefit from legal support.
The plan for the search of disappeared individuals broadened the definition of victims and included children, mothers, brothers, sisters, and other people who were close to the victims. Regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex persons, Peruvian law understood a couple to be comprised of a male and a female. However, current guidelines provided for differentiated support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex persons.
Turning to the prevention mechanism, he acknowledged that it was one the State’s pending tasks. If greater action was needed on the part of the existing bodies, steps would be taken for the protocols to be more specific. On children, he said many children who had suffered from enforced disappearances had disappeared in the context of attacks against entire communities. There were also cases of abduction related to the Shining Path which led to births in captivity. The State had put in place measures to foster the reintegration in society of concerned children.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
MARIA CLARA GALVIS PATINO, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Peru, said it was not clear which criteria were used to determine whether an individual could be at risk of being subjected to enforced disappearance. How was that decision made?
On the civil status of disappeared persons, she asked if the presumed death of an individual was registered by the State. States should try to address to problems that arose in cases of absence due to disappearance. In doing so, they should take into consideration the uncertainty regarding the victim’s whereabouts.
RAINER HUHLE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, asked if State agents were subjected to the same kind of exclusions as members of subversive groups. On the search plan, he underscored that it was under the auspices of the law. It could therefore change at any time as a result of an administrative decision. Shouldn't the law be amended to reflect the plan’s broader definition of a victim?
Response by the Delegation
A delegate said that a proposal was being prepared to roll out training for employees of the Ministry of Defence which would include a module on human rights and humanitarian issues that would cover enforced disappearances.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was involved in the process of dealing with non-refoulement issues. Peru paid heed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ opinion, notably concerning risk faced by asylum seekers in their country of origin, and especially when an asylum request was about to be denied.
On the presumption of death, he acknowledged past shortcomings, and said the State was considering measures to better regulate this issue. It would take into consideration the Rapporteurs’ recommendations in that regard.
Turning to the exclusion of members of subversive organizations, he said the procedure was fairly rigorous. All cases were examined based on strict guidelines. Witness statements were one source amongst several sources of information. Legal documents, as well as information from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could also shape decisions. On compensation, the comprehensive reparation plan outlined seven types of reparations, including reparations related to education, healthcare and restoration of rights. Payment was one form of reparations, but it was absolutely not the only one used by the State when it sought to compensate the families of victims.
RAINER HUHLE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Peru, said there had been great strides made in Peru to tackle the issues that stemmed from the years of violence. He commended the good will to move forward displayed by the delegation. Without anticipating the Committee's recommendations, he assured that they would be strictly based on the Convention. Some of the solutions discussed during the review could help address the pending issues. He expressed hope that some of them would become State policy.
DANIEL SÁNCHEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Access to Justice of Peru, thanked his colleagues in Lima who were following the proceedings and helping the delegation provide answers to the Co-Rapporteurs’ questions. The discussion with the Committee and the recommendations would help strengthen the work being done to ensure protection from enforced disappearances. Peru had an unwavering State policy to promote and protect human rights. Since the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Peru had been moving towards the full realization of the rights to truth, justice and non-repetition. The delegation had given an honest presentation, mindful of its progress and the work that remained to be done.
SUELA JANINA, Chair of the Committee, said the Committee had been pleased to discuss Peru’s achievements and challenges with the delegation to improve the promotion and protection of human rights. She thanked all those who had participated in the meeting whether they were present in Geneva or were following the proceedings from abroad.
For use of the information media; not an official record