Every day people go missing as a result of armed conflict, other situations of violence, natural disasters or in the context of migration. Their relatives suffer great anguish not knowing what has happened to them and live in limbo for years, even decades.
The disappearance of a loved one generates psychological and psychosocial consequences on them. These consequences (including the "ambiguous loss" suffered by those left behind) are not specifically acknowledged by relevant national institutions in charge of providing support services to vulnerable groups and victims of armed conflicts, nor by society.
To alleviate the suffering and help families of the missing to cope with the disappearance, awareness needs to be developed together with adapted psychosocial support programs. In order to be efficient, such programs should be based on contextual evaluation of the needs of families. This requires careful planning and implementation by qualified and experienced organizations and trained professionals. It is equally important to ensure that such activities are part of the response State authorities must provide to the issue of missing persons and the support to their families.
The delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka invites you to the launch of the latest issue of the International Review of the Red Cross – The Missing and to a panel discussion on Provision of psychosocial support to families of missing persons: theory and practice.
Opening Ceremony by Loukas Petridis, head of delegation - ICRC Sri Lanka
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pauline Boss, researcher on ambiguous loss
Panelist: Simon Robins, University of York
Panelist: Gameela Samarasinghe, University of Colombo and Maleeka Salih, researcher
Panelist: Ananda Galappatti, MHPSS practitioner
Panelist: Maia Alkhazishvili, ICRC Tbilisi-Georgia
Questions and answers
29 March 2019 14:00 - 17:00
Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
3, 2 Galle Main Rd, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka