To prevent an Islamist government from assuming power, the authorities of Algeria cancelled elections on 11 January 1992. The number of people who disappeared during the ensuing civil insurgency in Algeria in the decade after 1992 ranges from at least 7,000, according to Human Rights Watch, to 18,000, according to an academic study published in 2008.

The Collective of Families of the Missing in Algeria has collected more than 8,000 testimonies on forced disappearances in the country.

In 2012 the National Consultative Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CNCPPDH), a government body, cited an official police figure of 7,200 disappearances and stated that the authorities had paid compensation in 95% of cases.

In 1999, immediately after the election of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the government enacted legislation granting limited amnesties for crimes committed during the violent conflicts. A 2005 referendum on a broader amnesty enshrined in a Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation was approved in a referendum. In 2006 the Charter was decreed by President Bouteflika and subsequently enacted by parliament.

Critics argue that the amnesty provisions have effectively prevented any legal recourse by families of those who disappeared during the conflict.

Since the end of the 1990s the level of violence in Algeria has significantly declined and in February 2011 President Bouteflika ended the state of emergency which had been in force for 19 years. However, human rights groups point out that arbitrary detention and arrests continue, while families complain that no proper investigations of disappearances have ever been conducted.

Organisations active in human rights advocacy in Algeria include the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH).