Last Updated: Monday, 15 September 2014, 14:12 GMT

Azerbaijan: families of missing persons gather for commemoration

Publisher International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Publication Date 30 August 2012
Cite as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Azerbaijan: families of missing persons gather for commemoration, 30 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/504dc25b2.html [accessed 16 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Families of people missing in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict are gathering today in Baku and Barda to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared (30 August) together with representatives of the authorities, non-governmental organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"The fate of more than 4,600 missing persons from all sides of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict is still unclear. Not knowing what happened to their loved ones is forcing the families to live in a state of perpetual uncertainty," said Bhava Poudyal, an ICRC delegate in charge of a psychosocial programme. "Living between hope and despair can be debilitating. The psychological toll it takes can adversely affect people's health and their social and economic life."

In its role as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC helps the conflict sides to account for missing persons. In addition, it makes every effort to provide support for the families and make sure their needs are met. ICRC-trained volunteers who themselves have missing relatives are helping the families to cope with the uncertainty and meet their varied needs. Together with local psychologists, they accompany and provide support for the families whenever they have to go to the authorities, NGOs, hospitals, lawyers, etc. for help. "Assisting the families will remain one of the major priorities of our humanitarian work in the region," said Mr Poudyal.

The ICRC continues to help many families all over the world who are desperate to find out what happened to their lost relatives. It calls on the international community to renew its commitment to addressing the plight of missing persons and their families.

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