Syria/Region: Publication

Lessons learned on missing persons in Lebanon

23 September 2022

This briefing paper supports the recommendations by the United Nation’s Secretary General for the establishment of a missing persons mechanism in Syria with an international mandate that ensures the meaningful and sustainable participation and representation of victims. Following extensive research, this paper offers six key lessons learned from the 32-year struggle for the recognition of the rights of missing persons and their families in Lebanon, where an Independent National Commission for missing persons has shown significant shortcomings in fulfilling its mandate.

The six lessons learned addressed in this paper are:

  1. International nature of the mechanism.
  2. Time is of essence.
  3. Ensuring coordination and centralized data management.
  4. Responding to the humanitarian needs of the families of missing persons.
  5. The right to know.
  6. Identify, protect, and exhume mass graves in accordance with international standards.

This briefing paper serves as an introduction to a more detailed report that shall be published by the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre in late 2022.