The International Committee of the Red Cross stated on October 29, 2018 that over 100,000 people around the world are missing, which has created a global “crisis.”
According to the International organisation's protection adviser, Agner Coutou, this is the highest number of missing people they have ever had. Coutou told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee that the quoted number represents only a fraction of those estimated to be missing because of past and ongoing conflicts.
Following are the three key drivers of the crisis:
1. The scale of armed conflicts responsible for a substantial number of missing.
2. The 'intergenerational impact' of people missing for decades in their families.
3. The increased internationalisation of the problem.
Speaking on the same, Coutou said, "Missing persons shape the history of families, communities and societies profoundly and such unresolved consequences of conflict that stretch over decades can hamper the prospects of peace.”
• Today's wars involve individuals and groups from a variety of countries, which multiplies the number of people affected and involved in missing person cases.
• The transnational dimension of the question of missing persons is particularly clear in its overlap with migration, as thousands and thousands of people fleeing conflict also go missing in transit and destination countries.
• The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for early and preventive action to keep people from going missing, “whether they are alive or dead.”
• This means registering all people who are detained, enabling them to contact their families, registering and centralizing information on all those missing, ensuring identification of human remains and protecting gravesites.
• The organisation is also calling for upholding families’ right to know the fate and whereabouts of missing relatives and exchanging good practices and tapping into expertise on the missing.
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