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Experts from over 80 States discuss prevention of disappearances in wartime

19-03-2007 News Release 07/32

Geneva – (ICRC) Countless combatants and civilians go missing during armed conflicts. Their families suffer terribly, not least because of not knowing what has happened.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is today hosting a second meeting of representatives from more than 80 national committees on international humanitarian law. The aim is to raise awareness of the problem and to mobilize governments, armed and security forces, international organizations and national organizations.

“States have a responsibility to clarify the fate of missing persons and to prevent disappearances from happening in the first place,” said Philip Spoerri, ICRC director for international law and chairman of the meeting.

The event encourages States to include legal measures and mechanisms in their legislation that will prevent disappearances, to establish the fate of missing persons and to better assist their families.

In his keynote address, ICRC Vice-President Jacques Forster defined the primary aim of the meeting as being to “make sure that States include appropriate rules in their own legislation that will address the pressing issue of disappearances and propose lasting solutions.”

More than 150 experts will attend this three-day meeting.


For further information, please contact:
  Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, te +41 22 730 24 05 or +41 79 217 32 26