Syria: UN’s Bachelet calls for more international efforts to clarify the fate of the missing
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: 10 April 2022
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has welcomed the request of the United Nations General Assembly to examine how to strengthen efforts to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing persons in the Syrian Arab Republic, identify human remains and provide support to their families.
In an oral update published by the Media Center of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet said that the quest to determine the location and fate of the missing in Syria, including the forcibly disappeared, the kidnapped and the arbitrarily detained, is a symbol of the pain, fear and enduring suffering caused by the long and terrible conflict in the country.
The High Commissioner noted that the scale of this tragedy is “appalling”, adding that people disappear in different contexts, such as during hostilities, displacement, or in detention.
Bachelet pointed out that in many cases, this disappearance is linked to a set of human rights violations and abuses, citing what the Secretary-General said in his briefing to the Assembly last year, tens of thousands of Syrians were arbitrarily deprived of their freedom in harsh conditions and were often subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
“As we enter into the 12th year of the Syrian conflict, there continues to be a clear lack of progress in addressing the tragedy of missing persons. Despite the relentless work of Syrian victim, survivor and family associations and other civil society groups – and the efforts of many international bodies – the current status, whereabouts, and fate of tens of thousands people remain unknown,” she added.
The High Commissioner renewed her commitment to ensuring that the voices of victims and their families are central to finding solutions to the issue of missing persons.