Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: June 19, 2022
The Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, stressed that member states must seize the opportunity to establish a mechanism for missing persons in Syria.
100,000 missing since the conflict began
“More than a decade into the Syrian conflict, at least 100,000 people are estimated to be missing or to have been disappeared by parties to the conflict – Government forces and non-State armed groups. Their whereabouts and fate remain unknown to date, leaving families suffering in limbo and detainees cut off from the outside world,” Pinheiro said.
The Chair of the Commission also emphasized that his Commission has always called for the establishment of a body to consolidate claims filed with a wide variety of non-governmental and humanitarian organizations so as to efficiently and effectively track and identify those missing and disappeared and to assist their families
“There is a lot that can be done to support victims and survivors in this research, and families have waited a really long time,” Pinheiro added. to take concrete action, without further delay.”
“There is much that can be done to support victims and survivors in this search and families have waited too long already”, Pinheiro said. “This issue gravely impacts people across the political and geographic spectrum in Syria and the upcoming report of the Secretary-General must lead to concrete action, without further delay,” he added.
Participation of the families of the missing persons in Syria
Pinheiro indicated that this mechanism should ensure the participation of the families of the missing persons in Syria.
“Such a mechanism must ensure the participation of the families of missing persons in Syria, and be accessible to them, regardless of where they reside or actual or perceived links or affiliations. They are also victims, and the mechanism should amplify their voices as they seek information,” Commissioner Hanny Megally emphasized.
Megally explained that global experience shows that the longer it takes to establish such a mechanism, the more difficult it will be to reveal the fate and whereabouts of missing and disappeared persons.