Families of people missing or captured in the Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict visit ICRC headquarters in Geneva

The ICRC is working to clarify the fate of 28,000 persons sought by their families on both sides. Those persons may have been captured, killed or may have lost contact with their loved ones after fleeing their homes. Behind each name is a family in anguish, grappling with the uncertainty of the fate of their relatives.

“These families travelled all the way from Ukraine to Geneva to share their suffering and to call for action. The absence of information about a loved one is agonizing. Every family has the right to know what happened to their family member,” said Ariane Bauer, ICRC’s regional director for Europe and Central Asia.

Since the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict in February 2022, the ICRC has received 165,000 calls, emails and letters from relatives seeking information about their missing loved ones, communications that help us search for the missing. The ICRC has been able to provide information to 9,000 families. However, countless family members still live in limbo, desperately waiting for news.

The ICRC has visited more than 3,000 prisoners of war in captivity on both sides. We are painfully aware that this is not enough. We call on the parties to the international armed conflict to fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, notably by granting us full, regular and unimpeded access to all those they are holding captive. They also should provide the ICRC with timely information on the fate and whereabouts of those in their hands, whether they are alive or dead.

About the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency Bureau
Acting as a neutral intermediary between the parties to the conflict, the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency Bureau collects, centralizes, and transmits information on the fate and whereabouts of military personnel and civilians who have gone missing or have been separated from their families. It strives to ensure they are accounted for and retain contact with their family.

Based in Geneva, the CTA Bureau works closely with Red Cross and Red Crescent partners around the world to support families looking for news about their missing or separated relatives. It will remain active for as long as needed to provide them with information about their loved ones.

About the ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial, and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.

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Source : Icrc