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Obtaining and transmitting personal data as a means of protection and of preventing disappearances

31-12-1986 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 256

25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23 to 31 October 1986, Resolution 13

The Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross,

 recalling the principle by which families have the right to know the fate of their members, as laid down in particular in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977,

 deeply moved by the suffering caused to families when one of their members disappears, whether it is a question of unidentified servicemen on the battlefield, prisoners of war and civilian internees whose names have not been registered and transmitted, civilians who have been arrested, imprisoned or otherwise confined without their families being informed,

 recalling Resolution I of the Twenty-fourth International Conference of the Red Cross on the wearing of identity discs, and the relevant articles in the Geneva Conventions (First Convention, Art. 16 and 17; Second Convention, Art. 19 and 20),

 recalling the articles of the Geneva Conventions (Third Convention, Art. 122; Fourth Convention, Art. 136), requiring each Party to a conflict to set up a National Information Bureau (NIB),

 recalling Resolution 11 of the Twenty-fourth International Conference of the Red Cross on forced or involuntary disappearances,

 1. urges the Parties to every international armed conflict to implement the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of the First Geneva Convention, prescribing the wearing of identity discs by members of the armed forces, in order to facilitate the identification of the wounded and the dead and the forwarding of information concerning them to the Power on which they depend,

 2. stresses the importance of establishing a National Information Bureau and points out that to do so governments which so wish may receive technical advice from the Central Tracing Agency (CTA) of the ICRC, in particular concerning preparatory steps to be taken in peacetime,

 3. condemns any act leading to the forced or involuntary disappearance o individuals or groups of individuals, and urges governments to endeavour to prevent them.




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