Missing people: a global humanitarian tragedy (Video)

30/08/2019 13:56

Missing people: a global humanitarian tragedy (Video)


Today marks the International Day of the Disappeared aimed at raising awareness of governments, communities, media and public worldwide about the plight of people who went missing because of conflict, violence, migration and natural disasters. This represents a global humanitarian tragedy on a large scale. Some go missing in action. Some are forcibly disappeared. Each year, thousands lose contact with their loved ones as they flee fighting or seek a better life elsewhere. Many never return and are never heard from again.

At the end of 2018, more than 139,000 cases of missing persons were being followed by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). This figure has further increased in the first semester of 2019 to reach over 145,000. It is only a fraction of all the people believed to be missing worldwide because of past and current armed conflicts, natural disasters or migration.

These numbers only reveal part of the tragedy, as behind every missing person there are countless more people affected. Families and communities suffer from the uncertainty of not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones and they struggle with the multiple consequences that disappearances have on their lives.

“We urgently need stronger political will and commitment from all actors to implement their obligations on the missing. We ask States to live up to their responsibilities and to take the necessary steps to address this profound yet overlooked humanitarian challenge”, says Peter Maurer, ICRC President.

In connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the ICRC has registered over 4,500 missing people, both military and civilians, through its delegations in Yerevan and Baku and its mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. In line with its mandate under the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC assists the parties to the conflict with its expertise, and by acting as a neutral intermediary to support their efforts and encourage them to do all possible to clarify the fate of the missing people.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other violence. The organization has been carrying out humanitarian work in the region related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 1992.
 


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