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The Missing - Why a new initiative?

19-02-2003

People missing as a result of armed conflict or internal violence is a harsh reality for countless families around the world. Not only is this distressing for those directly concerned, it may also hamper reconciliation and peace efforts by contributing to further outbreaks of violence.

 

 

   

 Action to resolve the problem of people unaccounted for as a result
of armed conflict or internal violence and to assist their families
 

 
 
 
Current methods of dealing with the issue of missing people and the treatment of their families and friends are far from giving the expected results. For this reason the ICRC has launched a major initiative to get action to resolve the problem of people unaccounted for as a result of armed conflict or internal violence and action to assist their families.
 
The project has two general objectives, one internal, the other external:

Internally the means and methods used by the ICRC in dealing with the problem of missing people is being examined with the aim of finding solutions that lead to more efficient action.

 

Externally the ICRC's objective in launching this process, in cooperation with all those involved in dealing with the issue, is to:

 

 
  • review all methods that could be employed to prevent disappearances more effectively,

  • respond to the needs of families that have lost contact with their loved ones,

  • agree common practices with all those working to prevent disappearances,

  • respond more appropriately when people are unaccounted for,

  • raise this concern higher on the agendas of governments, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.