Community Discussion: Documenting the Disappeared

Join us 27 November to 1 December 2017 for a HURIDOCS community discussion on Documenting the Disappeared. This exchange will bring together practitioners from different backgrounds to discuss experiences, lessons learned and best practices related to documenting enforced disappearances.

About the topic

Enforced disappearance is a wide spread, global problem. It’s used to spread fear and terror throughout society. With the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance now in effect since 2010, it is more important than ever to document these disappearances. The process itself supports individual families in establishing what happened to their loved ones. The preservation of this information builds collective memory. Furthermore, when systematically undertaken, documenting disappearances also helps understand who the perpetrators were/are and hold them accountable.

Documenting enforced disappearances comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. It frequently requires specialist knowledge, including on forensics, not readily available and costly to obtain. Similar to other human rights documentation work, documenting disappearances is often risky because not everyone is ready to face the past and the consequences.

Format of this community discussion

Throughout the week, participants will share their questions, challenges, advice and experiences in our HURIDOCS Collaboratory online forum.

During the week, we will host several online conference calls in which 2-3 practitioners will share their knowledge and experience documenting enforced disappearances, and will respond to questions. We will publish the days and times of these calls on this post, and will announce them in the Collaboratory News thread.

The discussion forum will be organised around the following sub-topics:

  1. Goals of documenting enforced disappearances
  2. Physical process of documentation
  3. Methodology and platforms
  4. Coordinating documentation efforts

This is a public, online discussion and all are welcome.

Discussion partners

We’re grateful to be working with the following organisations to host this event:

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