Community Discussion: Documenting the Disappeared

Join Act for the Disappeared, Hafiza Merkezi, HURIDOCS and others from 27 November to 8 December 2017 for a 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.

Register to join

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 two-week discussion, participants will share their questions, challenges, advice and experiences in our HURIDOCS Collaboratory online forum.

We will also 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.

A summary of the discussion will be written and shared here, on this post and recordings of the live conference calls will be shared in our HURIDOCS Collaboratory online forum.

Discussion partners and participants

We’re grateful to be hosting this event with Act for the Disappeared (Lebanon) and Hafiza Merkezi (Turkey).

Participants include:

  • Justine Di Mayo, Co-found and Director of Act for the Disappeared (Lebanon)
  • Özlem Kaya of Hafiza Merkezi (Turkey)
  • Tamar of Técnicas Rudas and Centro Diocesano de
    Derechos Humanos Fray Juán de Larios (Mexico)
  • Celina Flores, archive coordinator for Memoria Abierta (Argentina)
  • Bert Verstappen, senior documentalist, HURIDOCS (Switzerland)

Interested in joining this discussion? Fill out this registration form!



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