The Disappeared

Playing for Change: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

I came across this video of U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ on YouTube and was immediately impressed, not only by the quality of the music and the way ‘Playing for Change’ champions inclusivity across the world, but the way they have linked their production to the International Day of the Disappeared remembrance in August last year.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about this annual remembrance.

The International Day of the Disappeared, on August 30 of each year, is a day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. The impulse for the day came from the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM), a non-governmental organization founded in 1981 in Costa Rica as an association of local and regional groups actively working against secret imprisonmentforced disappearances and abduction in a number of Latin-American countries.

These missing may be detained, stranded in foreign countries, hospitalized or dead. Through its tracing services and working with the 189 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, the ICRC ( International Committee of the Red Cross) seeks to obtain information about their fate on behalf of their families. It reminds governments and other groups of their obligations to respect the families’ right to know the fate of their loved ones. It also works with families of the missing to help them address their particular psychological, social legal and financial needs.

Visiting those detained in relation to conflicts and enabling them to restore and maintain contact with their families, is a very important part of the ICRC’s mandate. But the definition of the Missing or the Disappeared goes far beyond the victims of enforced disappearance. It includes all those whose families have lost contact as the result of conflicts, natural disasters or other tragedies.

In their own inimitable way, Playing for Change’s rendition of U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ is such an appropriate way to support the International Day of the Disappeared – just brilliant, don’t you think?

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