The 3oth August each year offers the world community the
opportunity to remember the victims of enforced disappearance. The day aims to draw our attention to the plight of those who have been imprisoned without their friends or relatives knowing where or why; the agonising of their families; and also to highlight the work of those organisations who campaign against secret imprisonment and work to support the ‘disappeared’ and their families. The International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances has instigated this date as a commemorative day in a bid to bring about the effective implementation of an international convention to protect the ‘disappeared’. Watch the movingly illustrative video…
The International Committee of the Red Cross website has information about people missing as a result of armed conflict or other situations of violence. More information about the Day, and about the campaign, is on the website of the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances.
The British Red Cross is currently trying to trace the relatives of more than 2,000 families separated as a result of conflicts in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, among other countries. At events across the country, the organisation is giving away symbolic forget-me-not bookmarks embedded with flower seeds and asking the public to sow them on 30 August in memory of those who are still missing.
The following short film from Amnesty International in 2008 movingly depicts this day in words and pictures: