ICRC organizes commemoration ceremonies on International Day of the Disappeared in Baku and Goranboy

ICRC organizes commemoration ceremonies on International Day of the Disappeared in Baku and Goranboy
# 30 August 2013 15:39 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Shahriyar Alizadeh – APA. On August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, dozens of families of missing persons gathered in two commemoration ceremonies organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Baku and Goranboy in the presence of the authorities and the Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society. ICRC press service told APA that on this occasion, a book of poems and stories written by family members of missing persons was launched. Opening the ceremony in Baku, Laurent Corbaz, the ICRC Head of Operations for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region, highlighted the importance of the right of missing families to learn the fate of their loved ones, recalling the commitment of the ICRC to continue its efforts to support the authorities in meeting their obligations under the international humanitarian law.

Worldwide, the ICRC continues to work on the problem of missing persons to help tens of thousands of families separated by conflict to learn about the fate of their loved ones and to encourage all sides involved in armed conflicts to renew their commitment to clarify the fate of missing persons and to prevent further disappearances.

The fate of people missing as a result of the Nagorny-Karabakh conflict continues to be a major focus of the ICRC's humanitarian work in this region. Acting as a neutral intermediary ICRC helps the sides to clarify the fate of more than 4600 persons that remain missing in relation to the conflict some 19 years after the ceasefire.

In recent years, the ICRC has launched a program to support the families of persons gone missing in relation to the conflict in Nagorny Karabakh. Family members most affected by the loss of their missing loved ones were the ones most emotionally attached to the missing person: mothers, fathers and wives.

By training volunteers from amongst the families of missing persons to work as social workers (accompaniers), the ICRC builds their capacity to help other families, in a peer-to-peer model of support, to cope with the uncertainty they endure, and to assist them in meeting their multi-faceted needs by accompanying them to service providing institutions when necessary.

Thus far, 1000 families have been supported in Baku, Barda, Aghdam, Terter and Goranboy. After participating in the program, families have shown an average decrease in symptoms of psychological distress by 34%, an increase in coping by 14% and an increase in daily functionality by 19%.

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Nagorno Garabagh