ICRC Calls for Resolution on International Day of Missing Persons
Shafaq News/ On the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a statement emphasizing the "ongoing pain" experienced by families of missing persons in Iraq, urging concerted efforts to provide answers and alleviate their suffering.
In a statement, the ICRC called upon all relevant parties to "intensify their efforts to ease the suffering of Iraqi families, recognizing that time alone cannot heal wounds – only answers can provide solace."
The committee further noted that families of the missing "remain uncertain about the fate of their loved ones, grappling with profound emotional and psychological distress."
It highlighted the challenges these families faced, encompassing emotional and material hardships. The right to know the fate of their loved ones is enshrined in international humanitarian law and the committee emphasized its importance.
Decades of armed conflicts and periods of violence have rendered Iraq one of the countries with the most missing persons globally. The fate of hundreds of thousands remains unknown, leaving families in perpetual uncertainty.
Quoting a 16-year-old boy named Mazen from the Yazidi minority in Sinjar, the committee shared his heartbreaking sentiment: "In 2015, four of my brothers, my parents, and my nephew disappeared. I miss them every day. I cry when I see other children having a good time with their parents."
The ICRC has been actively assisting missing persons and their families in Iraq since 1991. In 2022, it received 1,477 requests from families seeking to locate their missing loved ones. It helped ascertain the fate of 678 individuals through supporting authorities in search operations and facilitating communication between detainees and their families.
During the first half of 2023, 994 requests for assistance locating missing individuals were submitted. The fate of 171 individuals was clarified, with five individuals successfully reunited with their families outside Iraq.