Strengthening our support for families of missing people in Peru

For the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), helping families search for missing people is of vital importance, both to assist the people who are directly affected by the situation and mitigate the broader effects of missing people on society. According to Peru's National Registry of Missing Persons and Burial sites, over 22,000 people went missing during the violence that occurred between 1980 and 2000.

For decades, the ICRC in Peru has accompanied, assisted and supported the families of missing people. Since we are in contact with them on a daily basis, we know just how complex and diverse their experiences can be. We have also observed the impact of these disappearances on the entire community.

We believe it is important to respect the community's customs and needs. In Ayacucho, we offer services in Quechua, the native language of the majority of families of missing people in Peru. We coordinate with authorities and support the work of institutions like the Public Prosecutor's office and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights' Directorate-General of the Search for Missing Persons.

Here are some of the activities that the ICRC carried out in 2023 to help the families of missing people.

Our work in Peru has shown us how these disappearances continue to have serious consequences on the lives of thousands of people today. The situation urgently needs to be addressed, but many challenges lie ahead of us in 2024. Institutions are not providing families with answers quickly enough and more efforts need to be made to increase the number of profiles available in the Genetic Data Bank. Organizations that assist the families of missing people also need more support. The ICRC will continue working in Peru as a neutral intermediary with a humanitarian objective – both with families and for families.