Photo Source: © Dylan Collins/Families for Freedom
Photo Source: © Dylan Collins/Families for Freedom

Civil Society Organizations Urge UN Member States to Vote in Favor of Independent Institution on Missing Persons in Syria

23 June 2023

This letter is also available to download in Arabic and French.

At the end of June, the UN General Assembly will be called to vote on a resolution to establish an independent institution to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing people in the Syrian Arab Republic, a milestone in the international community’s response to the Syrian conflict.

Since 2011, more than 100,000 individuals have gone missing or been forcibly disappeared by Syrian authorities and other parties to the conflict, including armed groups such as ISIL. In 2021, Syrian families and survivors called for the creation of a new independent, humanitarian institution that will focus on victims’ inalienable right to know the truth about their loved ones.

The call to establish such a new institution is supported by the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The independent institution will be the first-ever response to the Syrian conflict to be entirely imagined and developed by Syrian victims and survivors of enforced disappearance and families of missing persons. The efforts made by Syrian families need the broadest and strongest support possible.

We, therefore, call on UN member states to support the families’ right to truth by voting in favor of the resolution. Voting for the resolution will constitute a major step towards bringing long-awaited answers to thousands of families who have been suffering loss and uncertainty.

Progress on this issue is fundamental to families, communities and society as a whole. The international community must extend a hand of practical support and assistance to families and victims in need. The people of Syria deserve no less.

Truth and Justice Charter Group

  1. Association of Detainees and Missing Persons in Sednaya Prison
  2. Caesar Families Association
  3. Coalition of Families of Persons Kidnapped by ISIS (Massar)
  4. Families for Freedom
  5. Ta’afi Initiative
  6. General Union of Internees and Detainees
  7. Release Me
  8. Hevdesti-Synergy Association for Victims
  9. Adra Detainees Association
  10. Families of Truth and Justice

Civil Society Organizations

  1. Afrin Platform
  2. Afro-Middle East Centre
  3. Ali Mourad (Academic & Legal Researcher)
  4. Amnesty International
  5. Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial Brussels
  6. Austausch – For a European Civil Society, Berlin
  7. Avaaz
  8. Association de Parents et Amis de Disparus au Maroc
  9. Building Blocks for Peace Foundation
  10. Budapest Centre for Dialogue and Mass Atrocities Prevention
  11. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  12. Cameroon O’Bosso
  13. CCFD-Terre Solidaire
  14. Center for Civilians in Conflict
  15. Center for Victims of Torture
  16. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
  17. Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
  18. Civic Assistance Committee
  19. Collectif des Familles de e.s en Algérie (CFDA)
  20. Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon (CFKDL)
  21. Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
  22. Dawlaty
  23. Democracia Global
  24. Denis Hurley Peace Institute
  25. Donde Estan?-Où sont-ils? France
  26. Dozana
  27. Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
  28. Euro-mediterranean federation against enforced disappearances
  29. FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights
  30. Finjan
  31. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  32. Global Justice Center
  33. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
  34. HAKI Africa
  35. Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
  36. Human Rights Center “Viasna”
  37. Human Rights Solidarity Organisation
  38. Human Rights Watch
  39. Hurras Network
  40. Independent human rights and media project OVD-Info
  41. International Alert
  42. Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention
  43. International Center for Transitional Justice
  44. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)
  45. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  46. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
  47. Justice and rehabilitation
  48. Justice for life
  49. Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
  50. Khulumani Support Group
  51. Khwendo jirga
  52. Legal Action Worldwide
  53. Lelun Association for Victims
  54. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
  55. Middle East and North Africa Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (MENAPPAC)
  56. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Right Studies
  57. Movement for Democracy, Development and Transparency Cameroon
  58. Network of independent Commission for Human rights in North
  59. Nobel Women’s Initiative
  60. PAX for Peace
  61. Peace Direct
  62. Permanent Peace Movement
  63. Ras-ALAIN platform
  64. Russi contro la guerra
  65. Salam For Yemen
  66. Solidarity 2020 and Beyond
  67. Stand with Syria Japan (SSJ)
  68. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
  69. Syrian Lawyers Aggregation
  70. Justice and Truth for Syrians (STJ) سوريون من أجل الحقيقة والعدالة
  71. Syrian Memory Institution (SMI)
  72. Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR)
  73. Syrian Welsh Society
  75. The association Syrian Sweden
  76. The Syrian Swedish Democratic Network (SSDF)
  77. The Day After
  78. The Syria Campaign
  79. The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  80. The Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP)
  81. Truth Hounds
  82. VDSH
  83. VSI Action4life
  85. Wheat Olive Platform
  86. WILDAF
  87. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
  88. Women Now for Development
  89. Women’s Refugee Commission
  90. World Uyghur Congress
  91. World Federalist Movement – Canada
  92. YouthHubAfrica
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and other NGOs


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