About the Documenting the Disappeared category


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We hosted this community discussion on Documenting the Disappeared from 27 November to 8 December 2017. The organised discussion is over, but you are still encouraged to add your questions, advice, and perspective to this forum!

Enforced disappearance is a wide spread, global problem. It’s used to spread fear and terror throughout society. With the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance now in effect since 2010, it is more important than ever to document these disappearances.

Documenting enforced disappearances is important for several reasons. The process itself supports individual families in establishing what happened to their loved ones. The preservation of this information builds collective memory. Furthermore, when systematically undertaken, documenting disappearances also helps understand who the perpetrators were/are and hold them accountable.

Documenting enforced disappearances comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. It frequently requires specialist knowledge, including on forensics, not readily available and costly to obtain. Similar to other human rights documentation work, documenting disappearances is often risky because not everyone is ready to face the past and the consequences.

This community discussion brought together practitioners from different backgrounds to discuss experiences, lessons learned and best practices.

A summary of the discussion will be written and shared here, on this post and recordings of the live conference calls will be shared in this forum.

Discussion partners and participants

We hosted this event in partnership with Act for the Disappeared (Lebanon) and Hafiza Merkezi (Turkey).

Participants included:

  • Justine Di Mayo, Co-founder and Director of Act for the Disappeared (Lebanon)
  • Özlem Kaya of Hafiza Merkezi (Turkey)
  • Tamar of Técnicas Rudas and Centro Diocesano de Derechos Humanos Fray Juán de Larios (Mexico)
  • Celina Flores, Archive Coordinator for Memoria Abierta (Argentina)
  • Jorge Ruiz Reyes and Denise Núñez González, of the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico)
  • Bert Verstappen, Senior Documentalist, HURIDOCS (Switzerland)
  • Indira Cornelio, Infoactivism and Digital Security Consultant and HURIDOCS Communications Intern (Mexico)