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The Photo Publication

View/download the digital pdf version of Existence Denied, (1.8 mb)

Download the powerpoint presentation (4 mb)

Appeal Letter

The ICAED appeal letter with many signatures was send to all heads of states on August 28  to call for immediate ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against enforced disappearances. Download the letter in: English, Spanish and French

The Campaign Flyer

Download the August 30 flyer






News items about August 30 in other sources

In this section, you will find a list of other sources that have paid special respect to August 30 commemorations.


On August 30 2008, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Day of the Disappeared, the ICAED voiced particular concern about the fate and predicament of persons who have been forcefully disappeared and called for action to help them.

On this date, ICAED members appealed to Heads of State across the globe to sign, ratify and implement the Convention against Enforced Disappearances. An appeal letter was sent to all Heads of State on August 30.

The letter was signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, other Nobel Peace Prize winners, numerous human rights defenders and a vast number of NGOs.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel drafted a letter in support of the struggle of the families of the disappeared. He reiterates that the Convention is fundamental to eradicate the phenomenon. Read letter (in Spanish)

Together with the appeal letter, an impressive photo publication was sent to show the global scale of enforced disappearances and the effects on the relatives.

Alongside this, activities were carried out in more than 20 countries to commemorate the disappeared. Family member organizations and human rights organizations in countries such as Iraq, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Algeria and the Netherlands spoke out and demanded attention for enforced dissapearances.

Please also read the press releaseand look at the special page on the 'Road to August 30' with information in five languages.

The International Day of the Disappeared and the global call from the ICAED and its members for the ratification of the convention received much media attention all over the world.  Below is a brief list of some things that were published:

- BBC item on disappearances in Morocco (in Arab). Link

- Radio interview with coordinator of ICAED on RAI. Link

- Web item of suddeutsche zeitung. Link

- ICAED press release on various websites such as the Association de la Presse Panafricaine. Link

- Feature on (in French). Link

Highlights of several events on August 30


Liga Guatemalteca de Higiene Mental, organised an event in Guatemala city.

On August 27 the inauguration of an exhibition on childhood disappearances took place. The exhibition will be shown in different parts of the country during the rest of the year. During the event leaflets with information about the convention and the call for Guatemala to ratify the convention, were handed out to the visitors.


Families of the disappeared from all regions of Iraq together with human rights organizations gathered for the first time in Baghdad on August 30.

According to the organisers the event was a success and a first step to bring families in Iraq together and call on the government to deal with the problem.


On the eve of the International day of the Disappeared the Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) launched a book called 'Remembering the Past, Reclaiming Stolen Lives'.

The newspaper Phlippine Inquirer wrote:

[...] “Reclaiming Stolen Lives,” an Afad publication, is a book that helps society remember the past. Painful as it is (but the truth liberates, too!), it speaks of the gravity of the phenomenon of enforced or involuntary disappearance in China, India (Jammu and Kashmir), Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

UN Convention

The book highlights the need for the signing and ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and for the enactment of a corresponding local law. [...]

Link to the full article


The CFDA (Collectif Des Familles de Disparu(e)s en Algérie) and FEMED organised manifestations in Paris and Algeria to draw attention to disappearances in the Euro Mediterranean region and call on governments to sign and rafiy the convention.

For more information about their activities and to view photos of the demonstration, visit their website


The AFMD (Association of  Family Members of the Disappeared) in Sri Lanka translated the convention into Singhala and Tamil language. 3000 booklets about the convention were printed and will be given to the families of disappeared.

Furthermore a lecture on the convention was organised to inform the participants about the importance of the convention to protect the Sri Lankan citizens from enforced disappearances.

On a banner paticipants got the opportunity to expose their feelings and grievances caused by enforced disappearances.

The organisers are highly satisfied and planning new events concerning the struggle against enforced disappearances. 


In Amsterdam members of the We Rembember foundation of Belarus demonstrated with a banner portraying disappeared people of Belarus. Balloons with attached portraits of the disappeared were released. In Belarus activities to pay attention to disappearances and the convention were organised in several cities.

On September 17 the Free Belarus theatre performed a show in Rotterdam to start the international campaign of culture figures in support of the convention on enforced disappearances.


A special feature on, a report on disappearances in Asia (Document; When the world misses its history lesson) and actions by Amnesty sections in countries like Paraguay (Open letter to the president of Paraguay), Belgium, Finland, New Zealand, France Uruguay, Chile and the UK realised lots of attention for the International Day of the Disappeared.


On the eve of 25th UN International Day of the Disappeared, the victims in coordination with Advocacy Forum submitted a memorandum to the Rt. Honorable President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. As not a single perpetrator of serious human rights violations has been brought to the court yet, the victims through memorandum demanded immediate action to the perpetrators, formation of new legislations and high level investigation commission on disappearance, formational of Truth and Reconciliation and compensation to the victims.

After submitting the memorandum, a face-to-face program and a joint Press Conference by Advocacy Forum and organization of the victims (conflict Victims Society for Justice) were conducted at Reporter's Club, Kathmandu. A book on disappearance in Nepal published by Advocacy Forum was also released by two family members of the disappeared victims during the press conference. The key speakers of the program were Mr. Richard Benet, Special Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Nepal, CPN -UML leader Pradeep Gyawali, human rights defenders Sushil Pyakurel and Subodh Pyakurel, and family members of the disappeared.