Protection Risk: Abduction, Kidnapping, Enforced Disappearance, Arbitrary or Unlawful Arrest and/or Detention

This protection risk covers different acts and measures of detention, meaning the state of being deprived of liberty and being detained in a confined space and not being permitted to leave. Abduction and kidnapping refer to removal, seizure, capture, apprehension, taking or enforced disappearance of a person either temporarily or permanently, without support or acquiescence of the State. In conflicts, when the victims are children, it constitutes a grave violation. Abductions and kidnappings engage obligations of the State to investigate and to prosecute those responsible. Enforced disappearance is constituted by three cumulative elements: 1) the person is detained or otherwise deprived of liberty; 2) the deprivation of liberty is carried out by State agents, or by persons or groups of persons acting with their support or acquiescence; and 3) those responsible refuse to acknowledge the detention, or conceal the concerned person’s fate or whereabouts, placing the person outside the protection of the law. Unlawful arrest describes the initial act of taking a person into detention that is not based on either a criminal charge or another reason provided for by law (established in national law and carried out in accordance with procedures). Arbitrary arrest or arbitrary detention refer to the situation where the arrest or detention is not justified by a legitimate purpose, reasonable, appropriate and necessary in the individual’s particular circumstance.