News release

Azerbaijan: Thousands of people still waiting to receive news about their loved ones

Baku (ICRC) – Today marks the International Day of the Disappeared to commemorate hundreds of thousands of people who are missing around the world as a result of armed conflicts, violence, migration and natural disasters. We stand by families of missing persons and remember their missing relatives together with them.

In the region, thousands of people are missing in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Many thousands more live with the agony of not knowing the fate of their loved ones. The constant uncertainty they live in often leads to emotional exhaustion and leaves lasting wounds. Not knowing what happened to a parent, spouse or child, places an intolerable burden on these families. They live in limbo, unable to mourn, between endless hope and despair.

Families gathered in an event to commemorate missing relatives. Baku, 2015. Zurab Burduli/ICRC

"We celebrate each his birthday in his absence. Years are passing, he is getting older. But in my dreams, he is still at the same age" says the sister of the missing person.

The ICRC engages with relevant authorities to support their efforts to clarify the fate of the missing persons and provide answers to the families. We collaborate with concerned government institutions offering our technical expertise and share our experience from other contexts in the world to aid the efforts of Azerbaijani authorities.

"We want the families of missing persons to know that their loved ones are not forgotten. They are not alone. And we will continue supporting States to do everything in their power to provide answers to the families, thereby upholding the families' right to know" said Roberto Mardini, the ICRC Director-General.

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 situations of violence. The organization has been working in the region in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 1992.

For further information, please contact:

Ilaha Huseynova, ICRC Baku +99450 316 00 24

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