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Overcoming tensions between family and judicial procedures

31-12-2002 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 848, by Vasuki Nesiah

Mechanisms designed to address the phenomenon of persons missing as a result of armed conflict or gross violations of human rights are examined in this article in terms of how well these mechanisms address three categories of needs of families of missing persons: information, accountability and acknowledgment. The analysis highlights the importance of establishing a plurality of mechanisms which respond to the diverse needs and priorities of victim families.


Vasuki Nesiah,
Vasuki Nesiah, Ph.D. Public International Law (Harvard Law School), J.D. (Harvard Law School), B.A. (hons) (Cornell University), is a Senior Associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York. 
Uncertainty about the fate of missing persons is a harsh reality for countless families affected by armed conflicts or internal violence. Existing international rules are designed to prevent persons from becoming unaccounted for and to ensure that missing persons do not remain missing, but are often not put into practice. The short introductory article describes the problematic and outlines measures in different fields to narrow the phenomenon and to respond to the needs of families that have lost contact with their relatives.  
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