August 30 marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, where the UN commemorates victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction. Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.
Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents.
To read more about International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, visit the UN page here.