The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is marking the International Day of the Disappeared on 30 August by calling on the international community to renew its commitment to addressing the plight of missing persons and their families.
The ICRC report includes personal accounts and narratives conveying the agony and great sense of loss that bereaved families endure over many years. “Even if there’s nothing but a skeleton, I don’t care – I just want my son back,” said Guliko Ekizashvili, a Georgian woman whose son is still missing 14 years after he disappeared during the armed conflict between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia.
[Pierre Krähenbühl, the ICRC’s director of operations] emphasized that “there are concrete measures that States and others can take to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the first place. Often, what is lacking is the political will to tackle the problem.” He also welcomed the adoption in December 2006 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, a legally binding document that prohibits enforced disappearance. “The ICRC urges States to sign, ratify and implement this important treaty as soon as possible,” he declared.
When a government or army engages in "forced disappearances," it is a war crime. Is anyone here surprised that the Bush Administration has refused to sign this treaty on the grounds that it "did not meet our expectations'?