UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday asked for attention to the fate of missing persons in transitional justice mechanisms.
"One humanitarian issue that intersects with transitional justice is the situation of missing persons and their families," Robert Mardini, permanent observer of the ICRC to the United Nations, told the Security Council, which met to discuss how to improve transitional justice mechanisms.
The ICRC asked the council to include a stated objective on the clarification of the fate of missing persons and the support to families -- for all cases of missing persons without discrimination.
"Such mechanisms must involve the families and have due regard for their emotional well-being and security. We encourage the Security Council, UN member states and UN missions to see transitional justice processes as an important avenue to implement Security Council Resolution 2474 on missing persons in armed conflict adopted last year," said Mardini.
He asked for efforts to provide all families looking for a missing relative an individualized answer and support.
This holds even if the case is not part of a judicial investigation under a transitional justice mechanism as people can also go missing in circumstances that may fall outside the scope of the judicial pillar of a transitional justice mechanism, he said.
There must be no impunity for war crimes. In all types of armed conflicts, states have the obligation under international humanitarian law to investigate and prosecute suspects of alleged war crimes, some of which may include violations that have led to people going missing, including cases of enforced disappearances, he said.
The ICRC stands ready to provide expert advice and support states, UN missions and transitional justice mechanisms with regard to the fate of missing persons, he said.