ICRC: families of the missing persons need more help

Fri, 30/08/2013 - 17:37

Geneva / Tskhinval (ICRC) - Today, August 30, on the International Day of the Missing persons, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on to provide more active help to the families of those who are missing as a result of armed conflicts or natural disasters.

"Every year, hundreds of thousands of people lose in such situations contacts with their relatives - said Marianne Pekassu -the head of the ICRC department that is in charge of the issue of the missing persons. - The most important thing for relatives is to clarify the fate of their missing loved ones. Unfortunately, in many cases, it still remains unknown. But the families of the missing have also legal and financial problems, especially if the missing person was the sole support of his family. However, as explained Milena Osorio, the ICRC's adviser on issues of psychological and psycho-social support, often the family is in dire need of psychological help. This is due to the fact that the members of these families may feel themselves isolated, suffering from sense of guilt and anger, depression and mental anxiety, tensions within the family or with people around.
The issue of the missing is urgent for South Ossetia. ICRC provides comprehensive support to the families of the missing, including the program of psychosocial care and participation in the micro-economic projects that will improve the economic situation of the family.
The right of people to know what happened to their relatives with whom they lost contact as a result of the armed conflict or violence is one of the basic rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Acting as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC maintains a constructive dialogue with all interested agencies, organizations, institutions and individuals working on the issue of the missing persons. In 2010, under the auspices of the ICRC was established a tripartite coordination mechanism for the exchange of information between the interested parties in order to clarify the fate of the missing persons as a result of the armed conflict in 2008.
On August 30 in a number of countries around the world plan a number of activities that are designed to preserve the memory of those whose fate is still unknown. In Tskhinval, the ICRC provides support to local non-governmental organization - Association of Families of the Missing "Memory" in conducting commemorative events, including a candle-lighting ceremony at the central square and the exhibition of artistic embroidery - the works of families of the missing persons. The local radio station and TV will carry broadcasts about the families of the missing persons.

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