30 August 2017 12:00 - 14:00

Gone but not forgotten: migrants, mothers and the missing

About the event


On 30 August, in honor of the International Day of the Disappeared, the ICRC convenes a conference at the Humanitarium on the importance of remembrance and the story behind its origins. Although the world is changing, our responsibility towards missing people and their families remains the same. How can we best help responsible authorities meet the needs of those who go missing and their families? And how do these needs change when the missing person is deceased? The conference is part of the ICRC's Conference Cycle on Generating respect for the law.

Speakers will be in English and Spanish, translations will be provided. The conference will be video recorded and posted on this page.

Due to the room's limited capacity all participants are invited to arrive on time.


Today, thousands of people are searching for their missing relative while keeping their memories alive, through remembrance and direct action. It is unclear how many people in the world are currently missing, but the issue affects every country in the world. Added to this, migration is at an all-time high and the world is seeing the largest numbers of displaced people since 1945, but not everyone finishes the journeys they begin.

In 1977, after her daughter disappeared, Estela Carlotto joined the mothers of other Argentinean citizens who had vanished to begin a campaign to discover the fates of their children and grandchildren. Their gathering and march around the Plaza de Mayo inspired global efforts to search for missing people, as well as the international annual remembrance of those who are still missing.

Forty years after the first gathering on the Plaza de Mayo, Ms Carlotto, now President of the Association of the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo and eminent activist, will share on this panel her story. No life is too small or unimportant to defend, to dignify, to restore or to remember. Ms Carlotto fought forgetfulness with her mere presence and this fight continues today.

Introductory remarks

  • Mary Werntz, Deputy Director of Operations, ICRC


  • Vincent Bernard, Editor in chief of the International Review of the Red Cross and Head of the Law and Policy Forum, ICRC


  • Estela Carlotto, President of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
  • José Pablo Baraybar do Carmo, Forensic Coordinator, ICRC
  • Carla Uriarte, Psychologist, ICRC

Date & Time

30 August 2017 12:00 - 14:00

Venue address

17 avenue de la paix, 1202 Geneva