The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has long been concerned with the effects of legal measures that result in amnesties and pardons, as well as mitigating measures or similar provisions that lead to impunity for gross violations of human rights, including disappearance. In its 1994 report the Working Group specifically referred to the question of impunity, reminding States of their obligations not to make or enact laws that would in effect give immunity to perpetrators of disappearances. Subsequent reports have repeated this concern.
The Working Group has followed closely the development of international human rights law regarding impunity.
The Working Group has decided to issue the following general comment on what it determines to be the proper interpretation of article 18 of the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.