Our stories

A collection of testimonies, news, and stories about missing persons


A group of awareness and advocacy campaigns carried out by CFKDL


Families of the missing and their needs Families of missing persons have many of the same needs as other victims of armed conict or violence and, as such, their needs must be considered in the global range of needs of all victims. Families of missing persons do, however, also have specic needs while they are awaiting clarication of their relative’s fate. The person who goes missing or remains unaccounted for is the primary individual aected, but the eects of their disappearance on close relatives – isolation, impoverishment, despair – can go beyond families to aect entire communities. In some contexts, fear and mistrust in the community or between communities is such that families are unable to speak openly about their situation. Doing so might mean they run the risk of reprisals or being ostracized by their own community, which would otherwise be their main source of support. Where the fate and whereabouts of missing people remain undetermined, there can be a ripple eect beyond the community to the societal level. If not addressed and resolved, this can threaten trust-building and social cohesion even after a conict has ended. The needs of families of the missing were identied and ocially recognized by the 2003 International Conference of Governmental and Non-Governmental Experts on the Missing, and, later that year, the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent agreed on specic actions to assist families of the missing. Their needs include: knowing what has happened to a missing relative; being able to conduct commemorative rituals; receiving economic, psychological and psychosocial support; having their suering acknowledged; and receiving justice. Until these needs are met, families cannot easily rebuild their lives