ICRC Christmas advert raises awareness of people missing in conflict and disasters
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has used its 2018 Christmas advert to raise awareness of people who are missing in conflict, migration and natural disasters.
The ICRC has noted a significant increase in missing persons over recent years due to conflict, migration and disasters. The organisation is currently searching for over 100,000 persons, its highest number for 15 years.
However, ICRC warns that this figure is likely to be just a fraction of the true number.
Over the last few years there are been a sharp increase in families reporting missing loved ones in Myanmar, Nigeria and Syria.
Since 2011, when the Syrian crisis began, it is estimated that 75,000 have gone missing.
Nigeria has experienced a number of high-profile kidnappings with hundreds of young girls being declared missing. In 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped in Chibok by Boko Haram, the attack received a global attention with a campaign to ‘Bring our Girls Back’.
It is also estimated that thousands are missing in the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar. A report earlier this year by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights found that over 43,000 Rohingya parents have been reported missing.
Florence Anselmo, Deputy Head of the Central Tracing Agency & Protection Division at the ICRC commented:
“Reconnecting families is as important to our humanitarian mission as providing food, shelter or water. We work in situations of armed conflict, other situations of violence, migration and after natural disaster across the world and we frequently hear that people’s absolute priority is to find out if their loved ones are safe.”
The IRCR has previously criticised the international community for not giving missing people in conflict, disasters or migration sufficient attention, arguing that it is a ‘hidden tragedy’.
The organisation hopes that the advert will raise awareness of the issue and support their work to bring families affected by conflict, disaster and migration back together.
You can watch the advert here.
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Image credit: ICRC