An estimated 100,000 people are missing in the Syrian context. This will have serious social and political consequences for decades to come. Any future Syrian constitution must include protections and mechanisms to address the rights of the missing and their families. Constitutional provisions must also ensure non-repetition of the crimes of enforced disappearance by criminalizing such actions and providing the basic framework to support the rule of law, among other things.
Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme, the Policy Coordination Group for Syria’s Missing and Disappeared (PCG), and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) are organizing a discussion on a paper recently issued by the PCG, outlining constitutional principles related to Syria’s missing and disappeared.
The PCG, a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by ICMP, is comprised of 27 members including representatives of Syrian family associations, civil society organizations, and legal and human rights defenders as well as international advisers. In addition to the paper on constitutional principles, the PCG has issued an Ethical Charter on Data Collection and Documentation of Syria’s Missing and has submitted a report on the Syrian missing persons issue to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. The PCG is now developing purpose-specific legislation for a future missing persons process in Syria.
ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.
Arabic-English translation will be provided.
This event will be held on the record and will be livestreamed on the MENA Programme’s Facebook page.
Nael Georges, PCG moderator & researcher
Anwar Majani, PCG member, judge and member of the UN-facilitated Constitutional Committee for Syria
Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law and constitutional expert
Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director-General
Moderator: Lina Khatib, Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director
Moderator: Reem Salahi, Senior Adviser to ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program