First International Day of the Disappeared observed

A mother tells her story about her son, one of the victims known as "desaparecidos" of the military government that ruled Argentina in the late 1970's and early 1980's

The first International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is being marked by the United Nations on 30 August.

The observance is aimed at putting a spotlight on the problem of people who simply disappear without trace and to remind victims and their families that they are not alone.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

Some states continue to use enforced disappearances as a tool to deal with situations of conflict or internal unrest, according to United Nations experts.

They also point out that there is now the use of so-called 'short term disappearance' where victims are placed in secret detention or unknown locations.

The victims are then released weeks or months later, sometimes after having been tortured and without having been brought before a judge or civil authority.

The United Nations says that the inclusion of enforced disappearance as an autonomous offence, separate from similar acts like kidnappings has proven to be effective in preventing and eradicating enforced disappearances.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 52″

All States must end 'heinous crime' of enforced disappearances, UN demands

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