Defining the Crime of Enforced Disappearance in Conformity with International Criminal Law: a New Frontier for Bangladesh

How to Cite

Sourav, M. R. (2015). Defining the Crime of Enforced Disappearance in Conformity with International Criminal Law: a New Frontier for Bangladesh. Bergen Journal of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, 3(2), 221-235.


Enforced disappearance is regarded as a state-sponsored heinous international crime and has recently emerged as a wide-spread issue in Bangladesh. The political opposition is currently the main target of forced disappearances, though apolitical citizens have also been targeted. Most of the incidents are unsolved and law enforcement agencies have repeatedly denied their involvement. Internationally, the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was opened for signature in 2007 and entered into force in 2010. The convention’s purpose is to criminalise enforced disappearances across the world and state parties are under an obligation to take necessary actions to stop their occurrence. Despite the cruel reality of forced disappearances in Bangladesh, no law has of yet been adopted to bring national criminal law in line with the convention. The right to life is nevertheless one of the key fundamental rights guaranteed under the Bangladeshi constitution which may be relevant in this context.  Forced disappearances have a disastrous impact on victim’s family as well as important societal implications. Bangladesh should, in this author’s opinion, ratify the convention and must reform national legislation to bring to an end state-sponsored crime. The scope of the issue may otherwise have tremendous consequences for the whole nation.

Copyright (c) 2015 Md. Raisul Islam Sourav

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