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The disappeared and their families: When suffering is mixed with hope

  • Vincent Bernard
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Abstract

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References

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1 See Pauline Boss, “Families of the Missing: Psychosocial Effects and Therapeutic Approaches”, in this issue of the Review.

2 “‘All I Want Is to Know’: Testimonies of the Families of Missing Migrants in Zimbabwe”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 99, No. 904, 2018, p. 15.

3 On the needs of families, see, in particular, ICRC, Accompanying the Families of Missing Persons: A Practical Handbook, Geneva, 2013, available at: https://shop.icrc.org/accompagner-les-familles-des-personnes-portees-disparues-2383.html (all internet references were accessed in July 2018).

4 For more on this and other examples of how forensic work contributes to humanitarian action, see the “Using forensic science to care for the dead and search for the missing: In conversation with Morris Tidball-Binz” in this issue of the Review.

5 See also Oran Finegan, “Dignity in Death: Remembrance and the Voice of the Dead”, Humanitarian Law and Policy blog, ICRC, 1 November 2017, available at: http://blogs.icrc.org/law-and-policy/2017/11/01/dignity-in-death-remembrance-and-the-voice-of-the-dead.

6 The Review has previously run a themed issue on missing persons (Vol. 84, No. 848, 2002).

7 Quoted in Moorehead, Caroline, Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross, Caroll & Graf, New York, 1999, p. 89.

8 ICRC, “History of the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC”, 2002, available at: www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jqrj.htm

9 More information about the Restoring Family Links network and the role of the Central Tracing Agency is available at: https://familylinks.icrc.org/en/pages/home.aspx.

10 Lieutenant Russell-Jones, quoted in Richards, Anthony, The Somme: A Visual History, Imperial War Museums, London, 2016, p. 89.

11 Translated from Russian, available at: www.simonov.co.uk/waitforme.htm.

12 The US Army first ordered the use of identification tags in War Department General Order No. 204 of 20 December 1906.

13 See website of the International Tracing Service, an organization dedicated to tracing and documenting people who went missing during the Shoah, available at: www.its-arolsen.org/en/; Erin Jessee, “Promoting reconciliation through identifying victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide”, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Africa Initiative Discussion Paper Series, Vol. 4, 2012, available at: https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/48264/1/CIGI_AI_Discussion_Paper_4_Erin_Jessee.pdf.

14 Katz, Monique, “Quand des machines travaillaient pour la Croix-Rouge”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 38, No. 453, 1956.

15 L'activité du Service Watson, 21 June 1946, ICRC Archives, C G2 WA 1994.042.0001, Service Watson, 1939–1945.

16 See Maleeka Salih and Gameela Samarasinghe, “Families of the Missing in Sri Lanka: Psychosocial Considerations in Transitional Justice Mechanisms”; Isabelle Lassée, “The Sri Lankan Office on Missing Persons: Truth and Justice in Tandem?”; and Vishakha Wijenayake, “The Office on Missing Persons in Sri Lanka: The Importance of a Primarily Humanitarian Mandate”, in this issue of the Review.

17 See Gabriella Citroni, “The First Attempts in Mexico and Central America to Address the Phenomenon of Missing and Disappeared Migrants”, in this issue of the Review.

18 ICRC, The Domestic Implementation of International Humanitarian Law: A Manual, Geneva, 2015, available at: https://shop.icrc.org/la-mise-en-oeuvre-du-droit-humanitaire-manuel-version-cederom-2482.html.

19 See Ahmed Al-Dawoody, “Management of the Dead from the Islamic law and International Humanitarian Law Perspectives: Considerations for Humanitarian Forensics”, in this issue of the Review.

20 To read two perspectives on how a particular mechanism deals with the relationship between truth and justice, see the articles by Vishakha Wijenayake and Isabelle Lassée in this issue of the Review. To read about missing mechanisms more generally, see Monique Crettol, Lina Milner, Anne-Marie La Rosa and Jill Stockwell, “Establishing Mechanisms to Clarify the Fate and Whereabouts of Missing Persons: A Proposed Humanitarian Approach”, also in this issue of the Review.

22 See Grazyna Baranowska, “Advances and Progress in the Obligation to Return the Remains of Missing and Forcibly Disappeared Persons”, in this issue of the Review.

23 WGEID, Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on Enforced Disappearances in theContext of Migration, UN Doc. A/HRC/36/39/Add.2, 28 July 2017. See also Bernard Duhaime and Andréanne Thibault, “Protection of Migrants from Enforced Disappearance: A Human Rights Perspective”, in this issue of the Review.

24 See, for example, ICRC, “Drawn Together: The Plight of the Missing”, 30 August 2016, available at: www.icrc.org/en/document/drawn-together-plight-missing. To mark the International Day of the Disappeared on 30 August 2017, the ICRC's Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division and the Review organized a panel discussion entitled “Gone but not Forgotten” at the ICRC's Humanitarium conference centre, available at: www.icrc.org/en/document/gone-not-forgotten-migrants-mothers-and-missing.

25 See also the Restoring Family Links Strategy of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, approved at the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2007, available at: https://shop.icrc.org/strategie-de-retablissement-des-liens-familiaux-y-compris-references-juridiques-2639.html.

26 ICRC, above note 3.

29 See, in particular: www.icrc.org/en/what-we-do/forensic-science; ICRC, Missing People: DNA Analysis and Identification of Human Remains: A Guide to Best Practice in Armed Conflicts and Other Situations of Violence, Geneva, 2009, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yarmwuao.

30 ICRC, “South Africa: Using Forensics to Uncover the Fate of the Missing”, 1 September 2016, available at: www.icrc.org/en/document/south-africa-finding-answers-about-fate-missing; ICRC, “Forensic Science and Humanitarian Action”, 1 January 2017, available at: www.icrc.org/en/document/forensic-science-and-humanitarian-action; ICRC, “Philippines: Helping Identify the Dead”, 19 November 2013, available at: www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-release/2013/11-19-philippines-dead-bodies-management.htm; Alex Emmons, “The Death Toll in Yemen is So High the Red Cross Has Started Donating Morgues to Hospitals”, The Intercept, 25 August 2016, available at: https://theintercept.com/2016/08/25/the-death-toll-in-yemen-is-so-high-the-red-cross-has-started-donating-morgues-to-hospitals/.

31 ICRC, The Missing and Their Families: Summary of the Conclusions Arising from Events Held Prior to the International Conference of Governmental and Non-Governmental Experts (19–21 February 2003), Geneva, 2003, available at: www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/report/5jahr8.htm. See also ICRC, The Missing: ICRC Progress Report, Geneva, 2006, available at: www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/icrc_002_0897.pdf.

34 See in particular, Dubois, Olivier, Marshall, Katharine and McNamara, Siobhan Sparkes, “New Technologies and New Policies: The ICRC's Evolving Approach to Working with Separated Families”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 94, No. 888, 2012.

35 See “Q&A: The ICRC's Engagement on the Missing and Their Families”, in this issue of the Review.

36 See: ICRC, “Gone but not forgotten”, above note 24.

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International Review of the Red Cross
  • ISSN: 1816-3831
  • EISSN: 1607-5889
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