ICRC tells how they help families in search for missing persons

ICRC tells how they help families in search for missing persons

August 21, 2020 17:38

Donetsk, Aug 21 – DAN. The ICRC uses its vast experience to search for missing persons in Donbass and prepares an intensification mechanism, the head of the ICRC Mission to Donbass Florence Gillette told DAN in an exclusive interview.

“We’ve been working with various structures, institutions and administrations on the different mechanisms necessary to deliver results. This includes for instance providing the tools for the set-up of unified registries of the missing (persons), list with details, reinforcing forensic identification capacity, promoting exhumations […] handover information on human remains. A lot has been done in enhancing the (forensic) identification,” she said.

“The mechanism have not been formalized. That would require mechanism between the different sides of the conflict,” according to Gillette.

A lot of structures and institutions have to be involved, to establish unified registries; a lot of coordination between the bodies (is needed).”

She said that since the beginning of the conflict nearly 1,800 addressed the Mission looking for their relatives. “Today we still have about 750 cases open,” said Gillette.

“Some cases were solved, either by themselves, some were closed for administrative reasons, or the family opted not to keep it open with us. We are pretty sure there are more than 750 missing people right now. These are just registered cases, new families are approaching us every week.

“All the relevant bodies have to agree for the people and coordinate (their work). There are some constraints,” Gillette said answering the question on who is impeding the process.

“We are not participating in negotiations, all the talks are political or diplomatic,” she clarified. “We are sometimes invited to bring in humanitarian perspective and expertise.”

“We can provide series of services to make families suffer less. The rest is to the negotiations, politicians and diplomats.”*ot