Daily World News Digest, 25 May 2016

One child goes missing every five hours in South Africa

IOL, a South African newspaper group, reported on 24 May that a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa, according to the Missing Persons Bureau. The report noted that Wednesday is International Missing Children’s Day, which is an opportunity to raise awareness and funds to reunite children with their families. In 2015, 12 missing children were found dead in South Africa. A total of 37 percent of missing children were white, 31 percent coloured and 28 percent black; 42 percent of missing children had run away from home. http://bit.ly/25g8SlU

Thailand: Press junta to end torture, ‘disappearances’

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 24 May caling on the Thai government to act promptly on pledges to make torture and enforced disappearance criminal offenses. On 24 May 2016, Thailand’s government announced it would submit a bill to criminalize torture and enforced disappearances to the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. It also said Thailand would ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The government, however, provided no timeframe for taking action on these pledges. If passed, the bill will be the first Thai law to recognize and criminalize torture and enforced disappearance – including for crimes committed outside Thailand – with no exemptions for political or security reasons. http://bit.ly/1YY7rEK

EU: Halt arms transfers to Egypt to stop fueling killings and torture

Amnesty International USA issued a statement on 24 May saying that almost half of the EU member states have flouted an EU-wide suspension on arms transfers to Egypt, risking complicity in a wave of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture. Excessive use of force, mass arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances have become a part of the security forces’ modus operandi, Amnesty said. A wave of enforced disappearances has seen hundreds of people abducted by armed security forces over the past year. They are held incommunicado for extended periods without access to their families or lawyers, and tortured by state security forces. http://bit.ly/1sPjJFy

20 months after Mexico’s 43 students disappeared

The Huffington Post carried a story on 24 May saying that the U.S congressional briefing to be held on 25 May with the Group of Experts tasked with accompanying the case of the 43 disappeared Mexican students comes at a crucial time. The end of this week marks twenty months since the disappearance of the students. Yet nearly two years after the initial attacks, the case remains far from closed. Though the mandate of Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) has formally expired, the experts, with support from US and Mexican civil society, will now present their findings to US policymakers. http://huff.to/27S2tQ5

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.