Syria/Region: News

Lessons Learned from the Lebanese Experience Regarding Missing Persons (full report)

5 April 2023

In support of a missing persons mechanism in Syria, this report offers six lessons that can be learned from Lebanon’s 48-year struggle to fulfil the rights of missing persons and their families. It is argued that Lebanon’s experience highlights the inadequacies of a purely national approach and demonstrates the necessity of establishing a missing persons mechanism with an international mandate that facilitates the full participation of the families of missing persons and addresses their legal, economic, and psychological needs. It emerged that a missing persons mechanism with an exclusively humanitarian mandate presents the most viable option, as it would encourage those with information to come forward without incriminating themselves or those close to them. The proposed missing persons mechanism could exist alongside, but separate from, those organisations seeking to attribute accountability for international crimes.