August 30th marked International Day of the Disappeared. Every year, countless numbers of people go missing, either separated during migration or conflict, leaving behind loved ones who agonize over their location and well-being. Those that are left behind have the right to know what has happened to their missing relatives and and governments, armed forces and armed groups have an obligation to provide information and to help reunite families. You can learn more about how ICRC helps in this effort here as well as read this compelling blog from the British Red Cross about what happens when families are reconnected.
In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation of the missing, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
Day for the Disappeared: Tens of Thousands of Syrians Have Disappeared (Huffington Post)
Gareth Bayley, UK Special Representative for Syria, writes For many Syrians, the fate of their loved ones remains unknown. Families are forced to wait in suspense to know whether they should grieve, or hold onto slivers of hope that the ones they love are alive.
The endless wait for Kashmir's disappeared to return (Al Jazeera)
Rifat Fareed reports on the families that gathered in a Srinagar park to remember their loved ones, some of whom have not been seen for decades. They ask a simple question: are their loved ones dead or alive?
Families are still searching for 12,000 missing relatives from the 1990s war in the western Balkans. Photographer Armin Smailovic followed one man, the only survivor of a 1992 massacre in which he lost his mother, brothers and sister
WWII missing still sought, refugees focus of Red Cross tracing (Deutche Welle)
Queries on the missing of World War Two are still arriving at the German Red Cross at a rate of 8,000 per year. Its tracing service has switched increasingly to reuniting present-day refugees and their relatives. German Red Cross president (DRK) Rudolf Seiters said determining the fate of World War Two missing persons remained the central task of the organization's tracing service despite the passage of more than 70 years.
The head of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija, speaking on International Day of the Disappeared, said families feel "disappointment with the inefficiency of those who have the jurisdiction and the power to discover the fate of more than ten thousand people who had disappeared during war conflicts."
Are you a writer, videographer, photographer or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (a.k.a. the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: nclark (at) icrc (dot) org.
**The usual Intercross disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC. **