Higher Committee of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms calls on local authorities to treat undocumented migrants' bodies with respect
17/07/2019 17:21, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – The Higher Committee of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms called on Wednesday the local authorities to comply with their legal and humanitarian obligations in terms of treatment of the bodies of irregular migration victims, following information circulated about the refusal of some municipalities to bury the bodies of undocumented migrants in their constituencies.

The committee further urged, in a press release issued on Wednesday, the regional authorities, represented by their respective governors, to make full use of their powers to oppose the municipalities’ decision “to refuse burying the migrants’ bodies due to religious reasons or in a mass and deprived from human dignity grave.”

In this respect, the committee considered that the decentralisation of the power does not discharge the local communities from responsibilities assigned to them by the State in terms of human rights, the press release reads.

The committee further called on all authorities to comply with international conventions to this end, stressing the need to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, all while commending the initiative of the Bouchema municipality (Gabes governorate), who had announced its readiness to bury the bodies of migrants who were recently recovered off Djerba, Zarzis and Medenine coasts.

“The burial in decent conditions is a human right, the authorities are in the obligation to bury the bodies in such a way that their identities remain recognisable in order for their family members to identify them and transfer their bodies in their respective countries, the press release pointed out.

The committee further called for taking the necessary measures ensuring the taking of a DNA sample from the victims with a view to identify them if whished so by their family members.

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