Held on the 30th of August, the International Day of the Disappeared gives us the opportunity to observe and recognize the number of people who have gone missing through conflict, migration and natural disasters, and to show solidarity towards all who have been affected.


Global News Surrounding IDOD 2023

International Day of the Disappeared: Memory Portraits in Peru

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Iraq: For families of the missing, the pain remains even as the search for answers continues

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Fragments: Documentary film from ICRC Ukraine

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Families Seek justice for their beloved "desaparecidos"

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A life pursuit: Virtual simulation depicting the suffering of families of the missing

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International day of the disappeared: a letter to Nawras' missing sons

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Podcast: The day my father was disappeared

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In 2021, nearly 3,300* migrants died or went missing while attempting to reach Europe, this horrifying figure – equivalent to the capacity of an ocean liner, or a football stadium stand – represents only documented cases. The actual number of people missing along the migratory route to Europe is much higher. Since 2014, tens of thousands of migrants have disappeared, never to be heard from again. Their families must endure the daily pain of waiting for news, clinging on to hope.


* Figures of the Missing Migrants Project, International organization for migration (IOM)

Relatives of missing persons attend the integration session of ICRC’s programme supporting families of missing persons in Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico. Credit: Brenda Islas

Intercross Podcast: Colectivos Work To Find More Than 100,000 Missing In Mexico

In this episode, we’re going to learn about how the ICRC works with what are known in Mexico as colectivos, or groups of families and friends who unite to search for their missing loved ones and defend their rights. We speak with Beatriz Adriana Martinez about her husband, Juan Alvarez Gil’s disappearance in 2013, to understand what a family goes through when a loved one goes missing and how these colectivos support Beatriz and the hundreds of thousands of other families. We also speak with Marlene Herbig, an ICRC delegate with the Missing Persons Program in Mexico, who works to help those who are searching for their missing loved ones know their rights, and how and when to seek mental health counseling.



Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

The Enforced Disappearance Legal Database (EDLD) contains the leading jurisprudence, legislation and soft law on the autonomous offence of enforced disappearance as developed by human rights mechanisms around the world. The EDLD seeks to promote understanding of this complex human rights violation and its evolution in international human rights law. It allows users to undertake targeted legal research, comparative jurisdictional analysis and explorative study of the main thematic issues arising under the normative framework of the offence of enforced disappearance.  

The EDLD has been developed by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) with input from domestic and international legal experts.