South Atlantic Conflict: the work of the ICRC

11 April 2018

It has been 36 years since the armed conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom began as a result of the dispute over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands.

Over this period, the ICRC has undertaken a variety of work. In 1982, ICRC delegates visited prisoners of war, on land and at sea, and recorded their personal details. In 1991, the ICRC organised the first trip for relatives of Argentine soldiers to the islands. In 2012, the organisation received a request from the Argentine government to help identify the remains of soldiers buried in unmarked graves in Darwin Cemetery. The "Humanitarian Project Plan" was implemented in 2017, and as a result ninety soldiers were identified. All this work required the good offices of the ICRC, in cooperation with Argentina and the United Kingdom.

Falklands/Malvinas, 1982: Equipo del CICR recibe prisioneros de guerra

1982: The ICRC team visits prisoners of war

After a 36-year wait, relatives of Argentine soldiers buried in Darwin Cemetery were able to place flowers on the graves - identified by the ICRC - of their loved ones. Until 2018, the gravestones bore the inscription "Argentine soldier known only to God." They now bear a first and last name.

ICRC deeds

  • Visited and registered 11,692 war prisoners
  • Delivered 800 messages during the South Atlantic Conflict in 1982
  • Organized the first trip to the islands for the 358 argentinian soldiers's family members in order to visit Darwin cemetery in 1991.
  • Identified 90 soldiers buried in Darwin cementery in 2017.