International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is marked every year on August 30 to honour and pay tribute to people who have faced enforced disappearances. Global organisations UN and Amnesty International observe this day to raise awareness about how enforced disappearance is a crime and should not be used as a tool to deal with situations of conflict. According to the UN, more than 6,000 people were registered as missing in Kosovo since 1999. Hence, the resource centre for missing persons in Kosovo has also been initiated by the UN.
Not only Kosovo, Iran too had reported thousands of political dissidents to be either missing or dead as a result of the 1988 prison massacres across the country. Other countries like Syria, Sri Lanka, Argentina, and Zimbabwe have also reported the same and the number of missing people from these four countries were over 200,000. Read onto know about the history and significance of this day.
History and Significance
On December 21, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly officially proclaimed August 30 as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The UN General Assembly on December 21 expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances across the world. The enforced disappearances can be caused by arrest, detention and abduction. Enforced disappearance is used as a strategy to create terror in society.
The day is observed to raise awareness about the suffering of people who are arrested, detained or abducted against their will and governments refuse to disclose the whereabouts of such people. Enforced disappearance is a global problem that is still being practised around the world. It is a serious violation of human rights that is not restricted to a specific region.
Many activists have openly shared their personal stories, at various media or public events, and opened up about victims of enforced disappearances and their impact on their families and communities.