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The International Committee of the Red Cross: Identifying the Dead and Tracing Missing Persons – A Historical Perspective

  • Isabelle Vonèche Cardia
Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter investigates the way the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has dealt with the issue of missing persons and the identification of dead bodies in armed conflicts and other situations of violence, covering the period from its creation in 1863 to the end of World War II in 1945. It shows that the ICRC does not record the number of people killed in armed conflicts, but is aware that disappearances are a highly emotional issue. The chapter concludes that families have the right to know the whereabouts of their relatives, and whether they are dead or alive. Therefore, providing information to the families of the victims is a humanitarian action.

Keywords

ICRC Humanitarian History Missing IHL 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

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